Debra Hill’s physician told her she would be dead in five years if she didn’t lose weight. After her son lost more than 200 pounds from weight-loss surgery, she decided to visit the Comprehensive Weight Management Center at Holston Valley Medical Center.
Now, six years later, Debra’s health has completely turned around. And the weight management center has remained an important part of her life – following her surgery, she worked as the center’s referral coordinator for more than five years.
My name is Debra Hill, and I want to tell you about my journey through the bariatric surgery experience.
I had been interested in weight-loss surgery for a few years and decided to explore the options. Ultimately, I chose to have the surgery after my 32-year-old son had gastric bypass surgery in Greeneville, North Carolina, in January 2008. I didn't see my son for six months - when I saw him again, I was amazed he had lost around 200 pounds.
That convinced me, at age 52, to pursue it. I thought if he could do it, then I could, as well.
My surgeon was Dr. Andrew Kramer at the Comprehensive Weight Management Center at Holston Valley Medical Center. He is a wonderful, compassionate surgeon who listened to me and my concerns prior to surgery. I told him my goal was to improve my diabetes and other medical conditions.
I had been on four insulin shots daily, but when the surgery was over and I left the hospital, I no longer had to use insulin at all.
After my surgery, I was fortunate enough to be hired in the weight management center as its referral coordinator. I felt privileged to coach other patients through their journeys, and along the way, I have become friends with all of them.
This surgery saved my life. Prior to surgery, my doctor told me I would be dead in five years, if I didn't lose weight. I am almost six years post-op, and am so glad I was fortunate enough to have the coverage and complete my goal I had set years ago.
Bariatric surgery has added years to my life, and I can enjoy many activities again, such as spending time with my granddaughter. It's meant the world to me.
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