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Name: April Watts
Procedure Type: Gastric Sleeve

I am a 48 year old mother of 3 sons, married to a wonderful guy going on 20 years now, and grandmother to 4 beautiful grand daughters.

I've always "carried my weight well", but was not pleased with the numbers on the scale. When I pursued weight loss surgery, my heaviest weight was 235. I'm 5'4" and never even weighed that much after the birth of my twins 11 years ago.

I had surgery on 12/22/14 and have lost 40 lbs since surgery. I'm very active now. I go to the gym, I'm running, playing outside with my kids more, and even will run my first 5k in 2 more weeks. I chose life and I'm so thankful to be on this journey.

Name: LISA
Procedure Type: Gastric Sleeve

I am a 48 year old mother of 4 grown children, newly married to my best friend of 10 years.

Highest Weight - 270 lbs.
High blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes.

I have tried every diet that there is since age 16. I'm ready to be free from medication.

Surgery was Feb 3rd, 2015. I am 1 month out. I'm never hungry. I have a hard time drinking my water. So far, I'm down 19 lbs. My starting weight at surgery was 239.4 lbs. I'm excited and have an awesome husband that supports me.

Name: Rita K Martin
Procedure Type: Gastric Sleeve

Mother to five, Grandmother to 12, I was tired of passing up opportunities to swim with my grands and go backpacking in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I was finding it increasingling difficult to enjoy the simplest pleasures in life.

I would get out of breath just walking around the block. Standing up from the couch could even be tricky at times and a little embarassing. I was sick - of being overweight and tired most of the time.

I have never second guessed my decision to have Sleeve Surgery in 2010. It was the best choice I ever made! The pain was less than I expected and the weight came off in half the time I anticipated with very little effort. There was no "catch" that I ever found. It was worth the money I had to borrow from Care Credit. Every dime of it. Best money we ever spent actually.

My family was a wonderful support. I can't begin to count the ways it has changed my life in positive ways. All I can say is - "I would do it again without even a moment's hesitation". I would recommend it to anyone! There is no reason I can think of to NOT have the surgery if you are struggling with obesity!

Name: Carrie L. Zaragoza
Procedure Type: Gastric Sleeve

I had my gastric sleeve on January 8, 2015. I can tell you that my whole life has really changed for the better so much already!

I am down 20 pounds and the pain in my feet, knees and hands has already disappeared! I am so looking forward to a life of health and for the first time in over 20 years, I truly believe that it is possible!

Name: April Perez
Procedure Type: Gastric Sleeve

I got my second chance at healthy on July 3 2013 when I had my VSG (Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy). I have struggled with weight all my life. I decided on WLS so I can find the woman who I knew lived inside me but didn't have enough confidence to come out.

Today I am a healthy Mom who jogs and hikes and bike rides. I love what my body can do and I am so thankful for this life saving tool I have been blessed with. Because of my increased mobility and renewed confidence, I have learned to embrace challenges as a way to strengthen myself as a whole person.

Name: Jacqueline Matthews
Procedure Type: Gastric Sleeve

I have struggled with weight and have been heavy my whole life since childhood. I learned humiliation very young with my weight when my parents sent me to Fat (weight) Camp for the summer when I was 13 which I did lose some but as always, I put it back on.

I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1995, from there I was given quite a bit of medication and large doses of steroids regularly.

So in 2007 I decided to have the lap band surgery with the hopes of getting my 286 lb body some help. The band did not really work for me. I never felt full but I did start to lose , however, the band eroded itself and a hole right through the wall of my stomach. I could barely even drink liquid for 6 months before a surgeon went in and took the band out while repairing my stomach. I thought I would never gain back the 50 lbs I lost during that time because of how hard it had been .

Well, I did gain it back plus some and ended up 310 lbs. AGAIN.... My health was failing and I was walking with a cane. When the surgeon suggested having the Gastric Sleeve Surgery.

My emotional pain then was that I had lost and regained 50 or more lbs in the last 20 years. I had a very real fear that if I was to fall down in a public place at 310 lbs that I would not be able to be picked up and the humiliation I once felt would be ten fold then it had been at 13. I was seeking with all my soul a resolution that would work for me.

I went through the process with a new found hope. I believed that the Gastric Sleeve would be different and would help me face my health and my food demons .

I had my surgery 1/15/14. A little over a year ago. Today I have weigh 205 lbs. I have lost 105 lbs!! I can walk without a cane today. My blood pressure and cholesterol are normal. My Multiple Sclerosis is under control for today and I feel STRONG. I can not exercise like some because my health gives me limitations, but I can walk and walk and walk my way to my goal weight and leave my food demons behind.

Name: Fallon Kirchner
Procedure Type: Gastric Bypass

When I was 24 years old, my doctors suggested bariatric surgery to me. I was caught off guard and didn't listen right away. Sure I was pre-diabetic and was given an expiration date. I was 324 pounds at my highest weight. Even at my height of 5'10", this was a problem.

But I also felt I was too young to have such drastic measures done. I wanted to travel and see the world, and I worried having a surgery like this would prevent those lofty dreams. Then, that summer, I was at a local amusement park with my husband's work. I had the embarrassing situation arise that I couldn't fit on a ride. This happened in front of all his coworkers.

I was humiliated as I was escorted off the ride. I looked up Gastric Bypass that moment, while still standing in the middle of the theme park. I am still ashamed that it took the embarrassment at a theme park to bring me to reality. Not the two separate occasions that two different doctors brought up the procedure to me, telling me to consider it. Not the alarming test results and the scale spinning out of control. It was the fact that I couldn't fit on a ride that I didn't even want to go on in the first place. But, alas, the important thing is that I was brought to reality.

Within 2 months, I found myself sitting in my surgeon's office to start the long journey to a healthier me. After multiple appointments that spanned the next 9 months, I was on the operating table on June 30th, 2014. I was 25 years old.

Today as I write this, I'm about 7 months post op. I've lost 105 pounds from my highest weight, down to 219 pounds. I am 20 pounds from wonderland and 34 pounds from my goal weight. I never thought I would be here, but I'm so glad that I am.

My worries about traveling abroad were poorly placed. On the contrary, having this surgery opened up the door for making traveling more attainable! I am able to walk farther, and sit in an airline seat comfortably. I am traveling to Europe this summer. Bariatric surgery gave me a new lease on life

Name: Lisa Clement
Procedure Type: Gastric Sleeve

I have been overweight since age 5. I was made fun of as long as I can remember. In first grade, I had 3 or 4 friends that stuck up for me. The memories will forever be in my mind.

I had a failed Molina Band surgery in 1985. I had lost 99lbs, but was malnourished. The band was removed and I gained all the weight back, including more! My precious Doctor, Dr. Gabriel Neal, suggested I look into the Gastric Sleeve. I declined it, thinking of all the months/years spent throwing up with the Band.

My dear Mother passed away and I spiraled into a horrible depression and gained weight up to 342lbs. I had so much to live for and so my Journey began. I started the process of having the Gastric sleeve surgery.

It was a long year and a half, getting all the documentation necessary for Insurance approval. At the age of 50, I made the best decision of my life! I have New Life! And I am absolutely loving every minute of every day! I retired from a horrible job. I now have and amazing job, working part time for the Bariatric Department of a Hospital! I get to help people with "Their Journey"!

I truly hope that some day, all insurance companies will cover these life-saving procedures for all that need them! My life will never be the same, I am forever changed and I am grateful for each new day!


Name: Misti Jackson
Procedure Type: Gastric Sleeve

I have been fighting weight and obesity since I was a child. My pediatrician even wrote a note telling my mom to stop giving me candy. At age nine I attended my first Weight Watcher meeting. My mom tried to help, but I was a food sneaker, amazing what you can hide in Barbi's dream house!

When I was 17 and a senior in high school my mom paid for me to go to a weight loss doctor. I lost 54 pounds in 5 months, then went to college where you could eat at 2 am and no one would tell you that you shouldn't. Adulthood was riddled with many diets, exercise programs etc... The bottom line is that no matter what I did or how much I lost it all came back and brought friends along for the ride. I have always been healthy and pretty active, but my weight had ballooned to a point that I couldn't 'fit' into chairs and I couldn't 'fit' into the largest of clothes.

I found myself 39 and 346 pounds! My knees and ankles were no longer nice to me so even though I had started the process a few times in the past (it takes several months to qualify for insurance so I would quit) I decided now or never! My highest weight was 346, surgery weight on November 15, 2014 was 323, and today January 2015 it is 225. Not perfect and I still have a long way to go, but I feel amazing!!!

Name: Cynthia
Procedure Type: Gastric Sleeve

I was diagnosed with Degenerative Disk Disease in 2011 and in pain all the time. I went to my doctor on 6/4/14 and was told I had pre-diabetes and also PCOS.

My Lipid panel was a mess, I needed to be on more meds for high triglycerides and I have been on Blood Pressure meds for over 10+ years.

I knew it was time to do something for good. I had been on every diet and then some, I would loose then gain over and over. I needed to change! I met my surgeon on 6/9/14 the day after my husband had a full Gastric Bypass.

My starting weight for my 1st visit with the surgeon was 238lbs. The surgeon recommended Gastric Sleeve. I had my surgery on 9/2/14. I am happy to report that I have lost a total of 67lbs and am at 171lbs today. I was taken off Blood Pressure meds 12/23/14. My blood test numbers are better than normal. I am now MMA Boxing and love it!

I work out 5 to 6 days a week and weight train. I am down 6 sizes in clothes and feel amazing! Imagine my shock going to Macy's in the women's section....and being told, oh honey you are too small for this department, you need to go to misses. I had tears in my eyes and hugged the sales lady!

I have learned that food is fuel for my new body. My back is 80% better and I am not in constant pain! This is a life style change for me for good!

This surgery is a life saver...if you use the tool properly. My goal is to run a 5K by the end of February.