Patient Stories

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Candace Watters

Growing up, I was always the chunky girl. After two pregnancies back-to-back and a job that consists of me sitting all day and being provided lunch by clients more often than needed, my weight consistently rose, getting upwards of 300 pounds. I knew it was time to make a change.
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Lori Coats

Lori Coats

I really didn’t have many of the common health issues obese people have when they elect to have surgery, but I knew it was just a matter of time. I tried everything to lose weight.
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Sherry Wise

Sherry Wise

I’ve been heavyset my whole life. I have thyroid trouble, and I’ve had rheumatoid arthritis since I was 21 years old. Before my surgery, I had joint pain all day, every day. It hurt to walk or move. I still functioned, but it was painful.
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Jeff Spencer

Jeff Spencer

The steady communication and attentiveness of Jeff Spencer’s care teams at CHI St. Joseph Health helped to put Jeffrey Spencer and his wife at ease recently when he suffered multiple cardiac episodes in one evening.
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Tommy Clement

In my 40s, I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes which steadily grew worse until I was unable to control it. I tried diet and exercise, including every fad diet you can think of, but nothing worked. I finally asked my doctor, “What can I do about this?” He suggested weight loss surgery, so, I decided to follow-up with him.
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Tom Pool

In my life, I’ve cared for loved ones who suffered from obesity. One day, I clearly remember telling my wife, “I don’t want to be that kind of burden to my children someday.” I was well on my way to becoming that kind of problem. In 2010, I decided that it was either budget for the recommended surgery now or pay the cost in poor health later. So, I chose the former.
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Tammy Michael

I never really had a weight problem, but as I got older, I developed a health condition that contributed to weight gain. The real problem started after I had a serious car accident. Following the accident, I had several major surgeries which left me feeling terribly bloated and uncomfortable. I tried a variety of diets. But, as soon I stopped dieting, I gained all the weight back.
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Toni Carelock

My weight was the one thing in my life I thought I could always control. If I wanted to lose weight, I’d lose it. But one day, I couldn’t lose it anymore. My health grew worse. I prematurely developed diabetes, high blood pressure and other health conditions. On top of that, I didn’t change my eating habits. My doctor’s warning--that I might collapse without any notice and never see my kids again--was my wake up call.
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Debbie Tibbetts

I looked into bariatric surgery because my life was severely restricted by the poor condition of my health. I was on medication for high blood pressure. Also, I took a medicine every day for acid reflux. My knees were so bad it hurt to do most everything.
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Mary “Mike” Hatcher

In 2001, I elected to have gastric band surgery because I was extremely overweight. Aches and pains were part of my daily life. Food was a very important, but, exercise was not.

After gastric band surgery, I lost an extreme amount of weight. I was dehydrated and developed an ulcer in my esophagus. After the procedure, I was unable to eat without vomiting. The banding is extremely restrictive in that I could only eat small food portions. I wasn’t feeling good, so, I got the band removed.
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Alanna Cosgrove

I was a little chubby as a kid, but, the weight did not stop me from leading a fairly healthy life through my teens. But, the struggle of gaining and losing weight was was tiring. In my late 30s, I started developing precursor conditions to diabetes and I knew something had to change.
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Sean Brimhall

I struggled with my weight my entire life. And the heavier I got, the more I noticed that people didn’t really look at me when we met – they looked at my body.
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Katie Clement

I am only 21 years old. But, since the age of 6, I’ve been overweight. I began to think twice when I started to become progressively unhealthy in high school. I witnessed how weight affects my parents’ health and I knew I didn’t want to follow in their footsteps. Mom underwent weight loss surgery. After seeing the difference it made in her, my Dad and I decided to do the same thing. So, then I suppose, I did want to follow in their footsteps!
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Jenni Money

Since elementary school, I have always been overweight. I enjoyed sports and I was active much like other kids my age. But, my weight was not normal. At one point, I reached 170 pounds and the weight kept climbing. I gained approximately 60-80 pounds in three years. At 27, I started to become immobile. I had no quality of life and no real hope that it would get any better.
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Beldon Sprouse

Weight has been an issue my whole life. Although I worked to get things under control, I always ended up right back where I started. As the years added up, so did my weight – more than about 360 pounds at the top end. I started losing energy and developed Type 2 Diabetes.
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