Pam Fury watched from afar as her friend, Barry Rankin, dropped the pounds following weight loss surgery at TriHealth Weight Management. She wondered if she, too, could benefit from weight loss surgery; at more than 335 pounds, she had trouble walking, found it difficult to participate in activities with her friends, and assumed a passive role with her grandchildren. “The piles of pounds had taken over me,” Pam says. “I became like a hermit.”
Finding Support – and Success
With Barry’s encouragement, Pam attended a support group in November 2011, which convinced her that TriHealth Weight Management could help her reclaim her health and become a more active grandmother. “I was very scared of being judged,” she reflects, “but the environment was so welcoming.” She notes that the Weight Management team, especially dietitian Maria Adkins RD, LD, gave her the support she needed to experience success. “Maria is my savior,” she explains. “She sat me down and said, ‘This is what you need to do’ before surgery” to have a positive outcome.
Guided by Maria, Pam lost 40 pounds before undergoing gastric bypass in July 2012. She was confident in the technical abilities of George Kerlakian MD with the procedure, given the stories she heard from Barry and others at the support group. But, it was his and the entire team’s patient-focused care since her surgery that Pam credits with helping her lose more than 70 additional pounds. “They are the best! They answer every question I have without hesitation and are always available to meet or talk with me on the phone.”
Keeping the Weight Off
At her new weight, Pam is able to do things she always wanted to do, like ride bikes with her grandkids and husband, and those that she never knew she wanted to do, like Zumba and water aerobics. And while she notes that she still has some weight to lose, she admits that she would be happy if she did not lose another pound. A pair of pre-surgery jeans serves as a reminder of where she was. “I can fit my entire body in one leg now!” she laughs. “I knew I was big, but didn’t know I was that big. I don’t want to go back.”
To stay on track, Pam has enlisted the help of others. “It is so important to have a strong support system—at home, at work, and with other people who know what you’re going through,” she notes. She continues to go to Weight Management support groups to receive and provide encouragement from other patients. She also gives her family a lot of credit for their ongoing positive reinforcement. “They’re all behind me,” she says. Best of all, Pam explains, “My husband tells me he’s proud of me all the time.”