Bariatric Surgery Patient Stories


David Lost 214 Pounds in One Year with Bariatric Surgery


My life before weight loss surgery was nothing to laugh at, or shall I say yes you could laugh, for that is what I experienced most of my life.

When I was growing up I was called “butterball,” big “hunk of meat,” and of course “fatty fatty two by four, can’t even get through the bathroom door!” I listened to all of this all my life growing up, and in high school I was a laughing stock. I was even ashamed to change in PE I was so fat.

I made it through high school as a laughing stock. Even though I was still popular, still had girlfriends, went to proms and all functions, I was still so big I could not even hold up to march in the band any longer. I could not run in PE without hurting, to the point that I would cry, and I even had symptoms of heart problems at that early age.

After high school, I tried married life, and of course my weight caused many problems with my intimate life and other things. My family seemed to be ashamed of me and was always putting me down. Due to this, I even had thought of committing suicide but realized that would not help at all. In my 20s and 30s, I never weighed under 280 pounds, and as the years went on the weight did, too.

In my 40s, I just got bigger. I tried to diet, used every possible diet on the face of the earth, and still would lose and gain right back. I never had success with weight loss at all.

Now in my 50s, the weight kept coming and the health issues were mounting. I first was diagnosed with back problems and had to have surgery in 2000.Then arthritis set in on top of that. My knees were swelling, I was retaining water, I was getting worse and worse and my finite mind could not handle it. I became very depressed and was praying to God to just let me die and get out of life, but He had other plans for my life.

In 2009, I was at work and I broke out in a sweat and felt really bad. I was rushed to the ER and after testing found out I had had a “silent” heart attack. I began to go downhill from there. Then about a year later, I went for a regular checkup and found I had AFIB and was rushed to a cardio physician who in turn sent me to The Kirklin Clinic to Dr. Neal Kay, and he began to treat me. He said I was not going to get any better if I did not go down in weight below 300 pounds so he could do an ablation on my heart to stop the AFIB. In the mean time, I was also diagnosed with a very bad case of sleep apnea. Going back to Dr. Kay in the latter part of 2010, he pointed his finger at me and told me if the weight did not come off I would not be here next year to talk to him, but be in my grave for sure. That hit me like a ton of bricks. I called UAB and set up preliminaries with Dr. Stahl and got the ball rolling for my gastric bypass surgery, which was the best thing that could take place in my life.

I thought the long evaluation process would never end, and one day I get a call and they tell me “your surgery is scheduled for September 7th at 6 am.” I was so happy, but scared too for surgery is a big deal.

I truly was scared the day of surgery. I always fear going to sleep, and I knew this surgery was a long procedure and very delicate. The reality of “hey, I am here and it is happening to me today,” really made me scared, but we had people with me praying. God gave me comfort, for I had prayed about it, and I had a peace in my heart and soul that God ordained this for me.

I believe with all my heart God heals today in many ways, and through this surgery I was going to be a totally new person, never looking back to the old David ever again.

I was in surgery four and a half hours and all went well, and the first day went really well until I had to walk in the hallway, but I did it because I wanted to do everything I was supposed to do. The second day was better, and the third day I went home. My recovery went really well. I had no problems except my esophagus closed up, but it was not due to the surgery. This had happened to me before and I had to go back to the hospital to fix it, but God saw me through that, too.

My life since surgery has been wonderful. The first few weeks were hard because of what I had to eat, but after that God blessed me and I can eat (in the right portions) almost anything now. I have no desire to “experiment” with the old stuff I used to eat. The desire for that is gone, my mind is set to do the right things, and it is paying off for me.

Through this surgery, in one year alone I am down to 214 pounds, the sleep apnea is gone, the AFIB is gone, the swelling is gone in my knees and feet and legs, and I can walk fast and long distances. I exercise every day by walking or riding my air bike. My mind is so clear, and I have never been so happy in my entire life.

For patients that are contemplating weight loss surgery, I can tell you that it is the best thing you could decide to do in your life. Things will become great for you, and you will live a life you have never lived before that is happy. The main thing is to make sure you make up your mind that this is right. This is the best for me, and I fully intend not to look back or mess up by convincing myself, “hey I need to eat this again now, a little won’t hurt.” But my friends, yes it will. Start this journey to make it a lifelong journey, and I can assure you that you will be the happiest and most blessed person in the world. I know I am.