Teen helps man lose 200 pounds after he fell through deck

Posted at 4:20 PM, May 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-25 17:32:32-04

Mount Juliet, TN — A Mt. Juliet man is making up for the months he ate too much and moved too little.

Jamie Lee has lost 210 pounds and counting. He said it’s all thanks to consistent, traditional workouts.

When Lee’s youngest son Ethan had a heart transplant, he quit his job teaching to take care of him full-time.

“Just sitting here, nothing to do, watching TV and eating,” Lee said.

The husband and father of three ate his way to 598 pounds.

“It’s horrible. I would have to have help putting on socks, shoes,” Lee said. “It was bad because I wasn’t part of my kids’ lives. I didn’t want to go out in public because of people snickering and stuff.”

Lee believes he would have died if it weren’t for a fall through a boat dock in front of close friends.

“That was pretty eye-opening,” Lee said.

Zach Garringer, 14, was there.

“It just really brings tears to your eyes just thinking about it,” Zach said.

What he did next took a lot of courage that many adults couldn’t muster.

“It was just really sad to me. I knew I had to do something,” he said.

“Zach came up to me, pulled me aside and said, ‘We got to do something,'” Lee said.

Zach played football, ran track and wrestled at the time. He talked to Lee about his weight and created a two-month exercise and eating plan.

“At the time he was like 14 and he was saying it to me,” Lee said. “And I was like, ‘Who is this kid telling me?'”

“And I think it hit him hard and he listened and we just started doing it,” Zach said. “When he got used to it, he started believing in it more.”

Lee now walks at least four miles and works out with Zach every day after school. He is doing more cardio, weights and yoga.

“I never would have thought I’d be walking four miles a day. I hated just walking to the mailbox,” Lee said.

Two years into his routine, the 44-year-old father said he can now play basketball with his kids and throw a football.

“We’re down to 388 now,” he said. “We still have a ways to go, but we’re getting there.”

Lee’s goal is 220 pounds.

“I’m helping him save his life,” Zach said. “Letting him get close to his family again and being able to really be with his kids more. And that kind of stuff really makes me feel good about what I’m doing.”

Zach hopes to major in kinesiology in college and become a professional athletic trainer.