FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Rod Durham, who was a contestant on the ABC reality show “Extreme Weight Loss,” was found dead in his motel room in Fort Lauderdale over the weekend. He was 52.
Durham, who was a drama teacher at a high school in Tallahassee, was in Fort Lauderdale during his school’s spring break, according to the Tallahasse Democrat.
Durham weighed 450 pounds when he appeared on the ABC in 2014. He lost 180 pounds during the year he was followed by the show.
Friends told the Tallahasse Democrat Durham died of diabetic shock.
Chris Powell, Durham’s trainer on the show, wrote on Instagram:
“Your positive energy and contagious laugh brightened this world and everyone lucky enough to meet you. You had an ability to make everyone feel special and loved. You changed your own life and in the process, you motivated and inspired millions of others. You have forever made a positive difference in this world.
We love you and miss you Rod. There are some lucky angels up there because they can enjoy your awesomeness now. We’ll see you again, brother.
PS I’m sure heaven has a pretty sweet gym and all the weight you can lift.”
Durham’s last post on Instagram was on February 6th, the same day he celebrated his 52nd birthday.
Heaven just got a lot brighter today when Rod entered the pearly gates. While I am selfishly so sad and completely devastated that I won't get to see him on earth anymore, I am rejoicing for the spirit he is carrying with him and spreading to everyone up there…including my dad. Rod, you will be missed terribly. Everything from your kindness, to your warm smile and bear hugs, to your friendship, to you extraordinary ability to make ANYONE (including me) feel special. YOU are special. And will never be forgotten. Love you BIG, and can't wait to be welcomed into heaven someday with that one-of-a-kind infectious laugh of yours. Thanks for changing MY world, @roddurham. Now go do you up there, buddy!!!! 👼🏼❤️