Tevante began struggling with his weight in fifth grade and says he noticed that his classmates treated him differently.
“I’d go home and cry about it, eat and cry about it," he recalls. "I didn’t really want to look in the mirror at all. There wasn’t really anything good to look at.”
By the end of Tevante’s senior year of high school, he weighed 395 pounds and was becoming more depressed. He wrote a letter saying he had "had enough of the weight on him" and questioning whether he wanted to continue living. His mom found the letter.
“I told him, ‘You have come too far. You can lose the weight,’" his mom says. "That’s when Tevante went on his journey.”
Tevante also reached out to his best friend, Dominique, for help, confiding in him that he was contemplating suicide.
Dominique and Tevante made a pact. Dominique called Tevante every morning to encourage him to get up and go to the gym. The first week, Tevante lost 13 pounds. By the end of the first year, he had lost 100 pounds.
“I started gaining more confidence,” Tevante says. “Self-esteem went through the roof. Two years went by. Everything in my life has changed.”
Tevante, who is now 23, has lost 225 pounds.
He says the first day at the gym, he could only walk on the treadmill for about 20 minutes. He gave up fast food and sweets and created a meal plan for himself, eating eggs for breakfast and chicken for lunch and dinner.
Tevante says he’s much more comfortable with his body, but he reveals that he would like to get rid of his excess skin.
The Doctors reached out to plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Brian Coan of Care Plastic Surgery in Durham, N.C., who has agreed to evaluate Tevante and perform the surgery to remove the skin for free, if he determines Tevante is a good candidate.
Update: To see how Tevante is doing after undergoing life-changing skin removal surgery with Dr. Coan, click here.