Finally, after a blood infection landed her in the hospital, Bradford gave up on exercise altogether when the necessary bed rest allowed for her weight gain to accelerate. She remained immobile for eight years. She reached a peak weight of 1,199 lb (544 kg) in January 1987. In 1988, she became so depressed and frustrated that she attempted to commit suicide with painkillers. Her fat absorbed the potentially lethal dose and only caused her to sleep for two days.
She started small by clapping her hands along to the videos. “It was the only movement I could do,” she explained. She focused in on her diet and stuck to Simmons’ plan. After a year she had dropped 420 lb (190 kg). Eventually she got some more outside help from a physiotherapist and soon her weight dropped to 500 lb (226 kg), a total weight loss of 699 lb (317 kg). Bradford persisted with her weight loss plan and eventually reduced her weight to 200 lb (91 kg). The lymphatic system in her legs was damaged in one of five sessions of surgery to remove excess skin during her weight loss.
Rosalie Bradford posthumously continues to hold the world record for having lost the most weight. She died on November 29 2006 at a hospital in Lakeland (near to her Auburndale, Florida home). She was 63 years old.