Ricky Naputi Battles The Bulge In TLC's '900 Pound Man: The Race Against Time' (VIDEO)

05/22/2013 10:23 am ET | Updated May 23, 2013

Ricky Naputi lived less than half a mile from a gorgeous tropical beach on the island of Guam, but he didn't see the beautiful coastline for many years.

Naputi, who died Nov. 10, 2012, at the age of 39, weighed 900 pounds at his peak, and the massive weight made it difficult for him to go to the beach -- or anywhere -- because island transportation cannot support his weight.

"The last time I got out and enjoyed myself must have been years," Naputi said on "900 Pound Man: The Race Against Time," a documentary airing May 22 on TLC. "I miss feeling the sun on my face. Miss showering, feeling the water run down my body."

Things got so bad for him that he was forced to attempt to lose enough weight so that he could fly safely to the U.S. mainland for potentially life-saving surgery.

Naputi was not alone in his struggle. While he spent his days in bed, his wife of 10 years, Cheryl, took care of his every need, including shopping, cooking and giving him sponge baths. She even helped him go to the toilet.

"It's like taking care of an overgrown baby," she said on the special.

Naputi was already morbidly obese when he met his wife, but he managed to charm her over the phone so much that she wanted to meet him in the flesh.

"When I went to Ricky's apartment, he only cracked [the door] open an inch or so," she said.

She pushed the door open and they were together until his death.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of the story incorrectly implied Naputi was still living. He died Nov. 10, 2012.

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