Cathy and Stephen's Weight Loss Surgery Journey

Huong Fralin's picture
By Huong Fralin on May 7, 2019

Cathy and Stephen were ready to enjoy retirement, but their weight was keeping them from the active lifestyle they wanted.

“I want our retirement to be full of fun and enrichment instead of sitting here with bad joints,” says Cathy. “I want to do things, and I want to be healthy.”

For Cathy, the weight gain followed an arthritis diagnosis. A major factor for Stephen was eating fast food while traveling.

“When you hurt, you don’t move, and when you don’t move, you gain weight," says Cathy. "And when you sit, you tend to eat, and you feel sorry for yourself, you eat more."

"It’s a vicious cycle.”

I want our retirement to be full of fun and enrichment instead of sitting here with bad joints.

When both Cathy and Stephen needed joint replacement surgery, they knew they had to lose some weight before their procedures.

“Finally, we just got tired of not being able to do what we envisioned retirement being like,” says Stephen. “We had a talk and made the decision to do something that was going to change our lives.”

That life-changing decision was to undergo weight loss surgery at Carilion Clinic’s Bariatric Clinic.

Three months after surgery, Cathy says she feels fantastic.

“When you’re morbidly obese, you carry not only that weight, but that mental burden,” says Cathy. “It just feels so good like something has been lifted off of my shoulders.”

We had a talk and made the decision to do something that was going to change our lives.

She is excited as she works toward her upcoming hip replacement procedure.

Since the surgery, Stephen has shed 160 pounds, no longer has sleep apnea and has reduced his reliance on blood pressure medicine.

“We’ve been married for 47 years, and want to grow old together and have fun,” he says. “We hope to recuperate over the summer and travel next fall when it’s our favorite season.”

If you are considering weight loss surgery, visit CarilionClinic.org/weightloss to get started.