Barbara “Babs” Thore, star of My Big Fat Fabulous Life, has died aged 76, her daughter announced.
Whitney Thore shared an Instagram post on Thursday night (8 December) confirming that Barbara had died of cerebral amyloid angiopathy, which can lead to haemorrhaging in the brain.
Posting a video montage of Barbara throughout her life, Whitney wrote in her tribute: “My mother died last night just as the credits rolled on her favourite movie. Dad, Hunter and I held her as she took her last breaths.
“It was 10:32pm, the same exact time she brought me into this world almost 40 years ago.”
She explained that cerebral amyloid angiopathy is an “untreatable progressive condition caused by proteins in the bloody vessels of the brain that can cause dementia, seizures, or like in my mum’s case, brain bleeding (haemorrhagic strokes)”.
Barbara had her first stroke in 2017 and her family knew more stroke would “eventually be inevitable”, Whitney said.
She described her mother as “our family’s greatest gift” who was “loved, revered and valued”.
“If you’re reading this, you’re familiar with her magic: her southern charm, her hilarious sense of humour, her well-timed witty remarks, her beauty, and her ability to make everyone around her feel comfortable and cared for.”
The TV personality also thanked fans of My Big Fat Fabulous Life for “loving our mother” and said her TV career gave Barbara “such a sense of purpose and excitement and something to look forward to every time the crew came around”.
“This last year navigating life after her second stroke was, perhaps surprisingly, the best of our lives,” she continued. “We never had more fun or laughed as much as we did the past year. The support from all of you made her feel so loved and encouraged.”
Whitney ended her post by simply writing: “I love you, Mummy.”
The 10th series of My Big Fat Fabulous Life was released in August on TLC and showed the Thore family dealing with life after Barbara’s stroke.
In the programme, the family is shown waiting to hear if Barbara would be accepted into a stroke rehabilitation programme to help with her recovery.
When she is given the green light to leave hospital and enter rehabilitation, Whitney told the cameras: “They’re giving her a chance to enjoy the rest of her life. This honestly feels like a dream. It does not even feel real to me. The emotional rollercoaster we have been on, to now end up here, is so amazing.”
Barbara is survived by her husband, Glenn, and her children, Whitney and Hunter.