Choosing to Change

At 524 pounds, Tammy’s life was getting more and more difficult. Even walking to her car was a struggle, as she’d be out of breath and need to rest once she got in the driver’s seat. Between taking two blood pressure medications, using pumps for the lymphedema in her legs, and being prescribed a sleep apnea machine to breathe at night, Tammy could feel her quality of life dwindling.

After years of letting her weight control her life, she realized she owed it to herself and her family to live the life she deserved. Overall, her health issues and inability to enjoy activities with her family, especially her grandchildren, were the reasons Tammy decided to have bariatric surgery. One incident in particular sparked her desire to change.

When Tammy and her family were vacationing at a resort, her youngest granddaughter asked her to go to the water park with them. Unfortunately, Tammy’s weight made it so difficult to get around that she was unable to go. This triggered a transformation in Tammy. From that moment on, she promised herself she would do what was necessary to improve her health. As soon as she returned from her trip, she made an appointment with Dr. Muhammad A. Jawad at the Orlando Health Weight Loss and Bariatric Surgery Institute.

Losing to Win

When Tammy first came in to see Dr. Jawad, she expected to learn more about gastric bypass surgery. Instead, he recommended duodenal switch (DS) surgery. He knew this would be best for her long term in order to create a new healthy lifestyle she could maintain. Before performing her DS, Dr. Jawad and his team discovered Tammy had a hernia. Thankfully, the team was able to successfully treat it at the same time as Tammy’s DS procedure.

Along with Tammy’s bariatric surgery came the education she needed to be at her best for the rest of her life. With Dr. Jawad’s medical expertise and the compassion and dedication of his entire team, she learned how to continue her weight loss. Tammy even met with a nutritionist to plan meals and manage her eating habits. The Orlando Health team was happy to support her as she made strides to change for the better.

Because of her life-changing experience with Dr. Jawad and the Orlando Health team, Tammy has been recommending Orlando Health to others considering a major transformation. She is truly an inspiration to her peers and family members who have also altered their diets and began exercising regularly.

Living Again

After her bariatric surgery, Tammy’s eating habits improved instantly. She started with clear liquids, then purees and mashes so she could slowly be reintroduced to solid foods. Instead of overeating, she now listens to her body and stops eating when she’s full and saves the rest for later.

Thanks to her surgery and resulting weight loss, Tammy is able to do more than she ever imagined. Her main hobbies are cooking for her family, singing for her church’s praise team, and spending time with her grandchildren. “At 524 pounds with lymphedema in both of my legs, I really couldn’t do much of anything. But now I enjoy my grandbabies. I’m forever doing something with them,” said Tammy.

Tammy learned so much about life and herself from this incredible transformation. She now knows it’s never too late to take control of your health. If asked to help others through the process of losing weight with the help of surgery, she would advise them to simply choose whether they want to live or die, because if it wasn’t for her surgery, Tammy believes she wouldn’t be alive today. Her story proves that with the help of a strong team behind you and the tools you need to change, a huge loss can ultimately be an even bigger win. The Orlando Health Weight Loss and Bariatric Surgery Institute is forever grateful Tammy chose their team to help her reach such an extraordinary victory.

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From Life-Threatening to Life-Changing

With her weight at a life-threatening level, Tammy was unable to continue the career she loved or keep up with her growing family. She practiced better eating habits to lose weight on her own, then qualified for bariatric surgery at Orlando Health. Thanks to minimally invasive surgery, Tammy is down 300 pounds and up for anything.