Making the Most of a Second Chance at Life

Making the Most of a Second Chance at Life

In the summer of 2011, Sheila and Joe Hicks were struggling with their weight and the burden it was placing on their lives. “I wasn’t really living,” Sheila states. At 213 pounds and just five-feet tall, even the simplest activities like taking her active sons (ages 15, 12 and 9) to the park had become a challenge.

Things weren’t much easier for Joe, whose physically demanding job was compounded by the fact that he weighed more than 260 pounds. “Everything was difficult, especially breathing,” he explains. It’s amazing how much can change in a year.

A Step in the Right Direction

The changes started when Sheila made the decision to pursue weight loss surgery. Though her weight had been an issue for several years, she didn’t think weight loss surgery was right for her. When she saw loved ones having success with the surgery, however, Sheila began to rethink her position. She eventually selected to have sleeve gastrectomy surgery with Dr. Kerlakian and TriHealth Weight Management, a decision which she says is the best one she ever made. “Having the surgery gave me my life back,” she notes.

Now 80 pounds lighter, Sheila is making the most of her second chance. She started her own day care business and has become more active in her church and her sons’ school activities. Reflecting of her fresh start, Sheila remarks, “I don’t think I realized how unhappy I was until I lost the weight. If I knew it would go this well, I would have done it years ago!”

It was a life-changing experience for Joe, as well. Propelled by his wife’s success, he also underwent sleeve gastrectomy with Dr. Kerlakian. After battling obesity for more than 10 years, Joe has lost 90 pounds in less than six months and is enjoying what the weight loss has afforded. “I’m not worn out after work anymore,” he explains. “I can make it through the day and still have energy to do other things when I come home.” For example: “My yard’s never looked so good!” Joe laughs. He’s also taken up running with his son, a cross country runner.

The biggest changes for both Sheila and Joe, however, have occurred in their relationship with each other. “It’s definitely strengthened our relationship,” says Joe, noting the role emotional support from each other has played in their weight loss journey. “I couldn’t image what it would have been like without my wife. It helped that we did it together, because we were empathetic of each other’s situation.” The couple now takes regular evening walks together and they have rethought how they prepare family meals. And in celebration of their success, they recently took a romantic trip together to Las Vegas.

Today, a combined 170 pounds lighter – and infinitely happier – Sheila and Joe have high praise for the TriHealth Weight Management team. “I cannot say enough good things about Dr. Kerlakian and the staff,” says Joe. Sheila agrees. “It’s the best thing I’ve ever done,” she notes. “I would do it all over again with the same people.”

Tags Wellness and Fitness

Last Updated: December 04, 2015