Big T joined History Channel’s Swamp People as a novice gator hunter, but this did not stop him from quickly becoming a fan favorite. His bubbly personality and amazing enthusiasm, not to mention his gator hunting skills, really stood out.
So, we were all taken aback when he didn’t show up after Season 11 of the reality television show. Fans definitely didn’t see this hiatus coming, given that Big T was a key member of the show.
So, what made him leave so suddenly?
We’ve done some digging and have info on what happened to Big T on Swamp People. So, read on to find out!
Big T From ‘Swamp People’
Born Joseph Rogers Richard, Big T got his nickname from his older brother, who called him ”tee,” short for petite. His family called him Big T as he grew up, and the name stuck.
Big T joined Swamp People in the ninth season. But even before joining the hit reality tv show, the master gator hunter already knew some of the cast members, including Mitchell Guist, Bruce Mitchell, Jay Paul Molinere, Jacob Landry, Chase Landry, and Troy Landry. All of them are in the alligator hunting venture in Pierre Part, a small southeastern town in Lousiana.
He also worked as a deckhand for Daniel Edgar’s crew. Joseph Rodgers rose to the ranks in a short time, becoming a fan favorite with his exuberant personality.
But, despite being one of the most adored alligator hunters on the show, Big T never returned to the reality series after the eleventh season, leaving fans worried and surprised.
What Happened to Big T on ‘Swamp People’?
Big T departed from Swamp People because he became too sick to do anything, let alone film for television.
What started as a small cut on his foot quickly got out of control, becoming a serious wound requiring multiple surgeries.
The gator hunter has diabetes, and this made his foot infection worse. The bacteria had spread to one of his foot bones in a short time, and surgery was the only way to save his leg from a potentially life-threatening condition.
Big T, who shared the graphic images of his infected foot on social media, did not have health insurance and had to appeal to well-wishers. Friends and family set up a GoFundMe account to help raise the amount needed for his medical bills.
Fans and some of his co-star friends went out to get Joseph Rogers Richard to the hospital for treatment. To help raise the money, Daniel Edgward auctioned an alligator hung tag.
Big T underwent several surgeries, and the good news is that the procedures and treatment seem to have worked. He even appeared on at least one episode of Season 12 of Swamp People in time for the alligator hunting season.
Aside from his brief appearance, the reality TV star also got a job to help him with his medical costs. Unfortunately, in September 2020, a piece of glass from an exploded baking dish cut his foot again.
This left him with a serious injury, causing him to leave his job after only ten days for a third surgery. At this point, his financial situation was so dire that he was at risk of losing his home.
Despite his appearance on an episode of Season 12, the truth is, the reality star still has a long way to go. His illness has taken a toll on him, and it might take some time before he can fully come back to filming for television. Hopefully, we won’t lose him like we did Mitchell Guist.
Where is Big T Now?
In January 2021, his supporters asked Big T on Facebook whether he would be returning to Season 12 of Swamp People. He said he wouldn’t be joining, but he might in the future though there is no guarantee.
These days, Big T isn’t too active on social media and has chosen a private lifestyle, so it isn’t easy to know about his personal life or what he has been up to recently. He never told his fans why History Channel didn’t renew his contract, but we can all guess it is because of his health issues.
Not much is known about his family life, but it is alleged that he is in a relationship with Lesley Faverino, who lives in Lafayette, Lousiana. It is said that Ms. Faverino fully supports Big T despite the risks involved in alligator hunting.
It would be awesome to have Big T back on the show. But, even if he doesn’t return, we hope that Big T’s financial and health situation will improve quickly. This is certainly the best outcome for him and his family.