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Dramatic weight loss creates dramatic crisis for local teacher

Stanley Hollar has lost nearly 500 pounds over the last two years. But that dramatic transformation has come with new - and expensive - problems for the substitute teacher.

SHELBYVILLE, Ind. (WTHR) - A dramatic weight loss accomplished by a local teacher has created a dramatic health crisis.

Stanley Hollar can no longer walk.

Now, friends are hoping his story inspires Hoosiers to help Stanley walk again.

Just watching the 42-year-old work out at Anytime Fitness in Shelbyville is inspiring.

"Not many people are as dedicated as Stan," his trainer Doug Sparks said.

Whatever workout Sparks prepares for him, Hollar tries to double. The way he pushes himself to the limit, you'd never know just how much this substitute teacher has lost.

Stanley, who loves sports and socializing, spent most of his life on the sidelines.

"Life was a spectator sport," Hollar said. "I wasn't in the game."

His body stretching bigger than his personality, year after year.

"I was always the biggest guy in the room," Hollar explained. "In kindergarten I was over 100 pounds. At my high point, in February 2015, I was 678 pounds. I was actually to the point where I couldn't even get myself off the floor."

It was life-threatening weight gain. He even had to have a trach put in to help him breathe. On top of all of that, he's an amputee. A torn artery caused doctors to remove his leg while Hollar was in college in 1996.

"My doctors told me get rid of the weight or you're not gonna make it past your next birthday," Hollar recalled.

But he made a change.

Hollar lost 250 pounds with bariatric surgery. Then he lost another 250 with sweat, diet and determination.

"I just watched him get smaller and smaller," Sparks said. "He was really on it."

500 pounds gone, in dramatic fashion.

Stanley's prosthetic leg is as big as his waist now that he's lost weight.

But Stanley's success has created an equally dramatic problem. His prosthetic leg is no longer practical or usable at all.

It dwarfs him.

"As you can tell, I can fit my whole waist in it now," Hollar said. "This thing used to fit snug."

Then there's the problem of his skin.

"I've got loose skin hanging from about everywhere," Hollar explained. "After surgery, your body is like a balloon. It doesn't shrink back after 40 years."

He has so much excess skin, that a new prosthesis wouldn't fit correctly. Yet surgery to remove that skin isn't covered by insurance.

"The skin removal is considered cosmetic surgery," Hollar said. "For me, this is not cosmetic!"

For Stanley, it would be life-changing. He wants - he needs - to walk again. It's a mission inspired, in part, by his trainer.

"When you're like something long enough, it's hard to see past that. Stan didn't seem convinced that walking was in the cards when I met him," Sparks said. "'Isn't the plan to get up and walk?' I asked him. He said, 'I don't know, I've got all this extra skin. I'm not really a candidate for a prosthesis' and I was like, 'So you just give up?' That didn't jive with me. I think he needed to hear somebody say it."

He's not giving up now.

Friends created a YouCaring site to raise money to "Help Stanley Walk" again.

Surgery and the new prosthetic will cost nearly $25,000. That's their goal.

Because even though Stanley Hollar lost so much, he still has more to gain.

He will walk again.