End of Life Options Act
Mission, Vision, Values
Currently: 154 lbs
Before surgery: 249 lbs
“My doctor said if I didn’t lose weight, I was going to die.” With diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and acid reflux, Betty was sick and getting sicker. At 249 lbs even walking around the block was difficult and painful.
But making the decision to have weight loss surgery wasn’t a slam dunk for Betty, “I didn’t want to give up food,” she says. But as her health continued to decline, she knew something had to make a change and she started on the journey toward surgery.
In December 2016, Betty had a sleeve gastrectomy or gastric sleeve and hasn’t looked back. She started walking with a friend. At first she could barely keep up but within six weeks, she was keeping up just fine. Betty now walks four miles each day. In addition, she’s a volunteer at the Salvation Army food pantry where she covers another three miles per shift.
Those health problems that were taking a toll on her body, well, they’re gone. Diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea are no longer part of Betty’s life. She’s lost nearly 100 lbs and gained a new outlook on life.
Buying clothes, a task Betty once found little joy in, is now fun. She’s gone from a size 24 to a size 8. “I’m the youngest sister, but I was always the big sister. Now I’m the smallest,” she said.
She’s also discovered basketball. With the ball given to her for Christmas in hand, Betty sets out for the school not far from her home. “I walk about a mile there and shoot some hoops,” she said—something she wouldn’t have thought possible before weight loss surgery.
Currently: 155 lbs
Before surgery: 315 lbs
Steve always liked camping, fly fishing, and hiking. But his weight limited his ability to fully enjoy the outdoors. “Just a flight of stairs and I was done,” he says. In addition, diabetes was taking its toll on his body and he struggled with fatigue and depression. So when his doctor recommended weight loss surgery, he gave it careful consideration.
“The hardest part was deciding,” Steve says. There were previous attempts at getting to a healthy weight. At one point he lost 100 lbs only to gain 120 lbs back. So at 315 lbs Steve wondered if he could actually do it. Would he go as far as having surgery and still not make it?
He spent some time thinking about it then attended a weight loss surgery seminar, “that seminar changed things for me,” Steve says. After meeting the team and getting a sense for the support he would have getting to surgery and beyond, he decided he was ready to go for it. In March of 2017 he had surgery and since then has lost 160 lbs. “I can’t even see myself where I was before,” he says.
Now that Steve is at a healthy weight, he no longer takes medication for or feels the effects of diabetes. His cholesterol is normal too. He has a gym in his garage and he loves to use it because for the first time exercise is enjoyable. He has even discovered yoga.
Those trips camping, fly fishing, and hiking are so much more fun, “I’m having the time of my life,” Steve says. He goes farther and longer than he would have ever imagined before making the choice to have weight loss surgery.
Learn more about weight loss surgery at Marian Regional Medical Center or St. John’s Regional Medical Center.