Wesely Warren Jr., the man who rose to international fame for his 132-pound scrotum, passed away at a Las Vegas hospital on Friday.
Roommate Joey Hurtado told local media that, although no cause of death had officially been announced, the 49-year-old Warren had recently suffered two heart attacks. “He was in the hospital for five and a half weeks,” he said, speaking to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “He had infections that I think were brought on by his diabetes and then he had those heart attacks.”
Warren first made headlines in 2011, when the Review-Journal brought to light his struggle to raise money toward surgery for scrotal lymphedema — a rare disorder that causes the scrotum to become grossly enlarged by lymph fluid and tissue buildup. It all began with a groin injury in 2008, he later said in an interview with The Huffington Post.
"I woke up the next day and my scrotum was the size of a honeydew melon," he told reporters. "My personal hell was just beginning."
Warren’s unusual hell escalated quickly. With each passing month, his scrotum grew by 3 lbs., eventually forcing him to wear a hooded sweatshirt as pants. But with no health insurance, his options were limited.
By the time national media began extending offers to foot the $1 million surgery bill in exchange for interview rights, Warren’s scrotum had reached 132 lbs. "Even when I got offers to help, it was hard," he said. "My scrotum was so large I couldn't get on a plane. I was too big to use an airplane restroom."
He would eventually endure 13 hours of surgery led by Dr. Joel Gelman, director of the Center for Reconstructive Urology at the University of California, Irvine. He awoke from the procedure 200 lbs. lighter. “There are a lot of shows about makeovers, but this is a real makeover,” Gelman told local media last April. “He’s basically a new man.”