This story started many, many years ago. Like most obese people, I had struggled with the attempt to manage my weight for most of my life. As a boy I was the “chubby kid” who wore the “husky jeans” and clothes. I was an active child so my weight never got out of control. I remained active as I grew older, but made a lot of bad choices when it came to what, when and how I ate and drank. I suffered a number of injuries that resulted in a total knee replacement and spine surgery. With each surgery, the doctors would remind me that losing weight would help with pain and recovery. With each new injury I found myself becoming less and less active and making worse diet choices. I got heavier, then overweight, then obese and eventually morbidly obese topping out at 350 pounds by Christmas 2013.
As my health continued to decline, I realized that I had given up control of my life and body. This was not a good feeling… I was constantly depressed and came to the realization that if I didn’t change I would die soon. I could not work out hard enough, in part due to injuries and health, but also a lack of self-discipline. Every diet and gimmick I tried failed.
Then one day in 2011 while visiting Sky Ridge, I saw the “Pants Across Sky Ridge” display for the first time. I was so inspired reading the stories of how bariatric surgery had helped change so many people’s lives.
I looked into bariatric surgery and met with Dr. Frank Chae for the first time. I finally saw hope for a real change in my life. After several attempts for insurance approval over the next few years it finally happened! I had my vertical gastric sleeve surgery on February 3, 2014.
Dr. Chae told me that the bariatric surgery itself is not “the solution” to being overweight. On its own, the surgery will not fix the problem, but it is an incredible tool to help “jumpstart” a second chance at life! I truly wish that I had done this many years before. I could have participated in and enjoyed so much more of my life. Since my surgery, I have lost 201 pounds. I have gone from a 50 inch waist to a 32 inch, and no more XXXL shirts! I have been able to get off of several medications including high blood pressure, arthritis, acid reflux and that annoying CPAP machine! I can walk up a flight of stairs without stopping to rest and can even run. I turned 60-years-old this year and I feel healthier than ever before.
If you are ready to take your life back and give yourself and your family the greatest gift of all – LIFE – then I encourage you to contact the National Bariatric Center, Dr. Chae and his team (including nutritionist, Kelly Elliot), and the staff at Sky Ridge Medical Center will provide you with the tools and encouragement you need to complete this most rewarding journey!