As you're considering whether or not bariatric surgery is right for you, read testimonials below from several patients who have undergone the procedure, as well as this story from one of our patients who was able to beat Type 2 diabetes. Your results may differ, but the staff at the Legacy Weight and Diabetes Institute will offer you the right tools and support to assist in your weight loss journey.
Linda Garrett Moore
Like many morbidly obese people, Linda Moore Garrett’s struggle stemmed from depression, stress and anxiety. At 450 pounds, the mother of three rarely left her home, often unable to take the amount of steps to get out of the front door.
After feeling dizzy and faint, Linda went to see her doctor and was told she had Type 2 diabetes. The diagnosis was frightening to the 57-year-old because of her family history of the disease.
"I have family members they lost arms, legs, went blind," she said.
One morning, Linda got herself ready to go to church and after taking five steps, she couldn’t go any further as she was short of breath and couldn’t put one foot in front of the other. She collapsed on her bed and saw her life flash before her eyes.
She knew she had to make a change. She attended a Weight Loss Surgery Information Session at the Legacy Weight and Diabetes Institute and learned about the different types of surgeries, how they work, the typical weight loss with each surgery and the benefits.
Linda spent the next year preparing for her gastric bypass by changing her diet, attending physical therapy, and meeting with Legacy nutritionists and psychologists. At the end of orientation, she was ready for surgery 52 pounds lighter.
Today, Linda has lost 223 pounds and continues to shed the weight.
“Not only did I lose the weight, I lost a depressed, sad and lonely person. I am happy to have me back," said Linda.
Now at a healthier weight, Linda has rejoined her church choir, reconnected with friends and is able to spend more time with her three children and grandchild. She can paint her toenails, do her own shopping and enjoys preparing healthy foods. She has also started doing water aerobics at the local community center. She no longer has to take medication for diabetes and she has her confidence, independence and love of life back.
An easy way to tell Jason Haar's weight loss success story is with simple numbers.
Before having gastric bypass surgery at Legacy Weight and Diabetes Institute almost two years ago, the 36-year-old Wilsonville resident weighed 560 pounds. (He had to drop 55 of those before the surgery.) Haar, who stands around 6 feet 5 inches tall, also had a 66-inch waist and wore a size 6X or 7X shirt.
Since having the surgery, however, Haar has lost some 245 pounds. He now weighs around 265, wears XL shirts and has a 36-inch waist.
"I only wish I would have done it earlier," says Haar, a foreman at a marble and granite shop who was born and raised in New Zealand.
Active in his younger days - he played football in college - Haar says that after he was done with school, he began working out less and eating more. He also relied on food as his "drug of choice" to help cope with some emotional issues from his past.
He got to the point that he didn't like going out in public, and when a few years ago his dad told him he was headed for an early grave - and that they'd need a forklift to carry his coffin - Haar knew it was time for a change. "I really just wanted a change in my life," he says. "It was time to make a change or I was going to die in my 40s."
Inspired by reality TV shows that focused on bariatric surgery, Haar underwent gastric bypass surgery at the Weight Management Institute in 2007. Over the next year, he lost the majority of the weight, sometimes dropping 12 to 16 pounds a week.
Haar started working out - he's at the gym almost every night after work for two to three hours - and watching what and how much he eats. He says he's good diet-wise 80 percent of the time; if not, he kicks up his workouts to compensate.
Haar regained his self-confidence and he finds himself socializing more. He plays rugby, he bought a mountain bike and rode it from Wilsonville to Portland to visit a friend - "I definitely wouldn't have been doing that before," he says - and he's training for a triathlon in August.
"It's been a total change," he says. "Life's a lot better."
There was a time three years ago - back when she weighed more than 300 pounds, had high cholesterol, sleep apnea and was on the verge of type 2 diabetes - that Deanna LaVerdure wasn't able to run around with her two children.
But today, the Salem stay-at-home mom's got two half marathons under her belt, several 5Ks and her sights are set on a full marathon. Now 38, she's dropped 130 pounds since having gastric bypass surgery at Legacy Weight and Diabetes Institute in 2006 - and playing with her kids is no problem.
"I've seen 303 pounds and I don't like it," says LaVerdure. "I like being here."
Having battled with her weight most of her life, LaVerdure had tried just about every diet, but nothing seemed to work. Then a few years ago, she learned about gastric bypass surgery on TV. She found out that her husband's medical insurance would cover the procedure, so she came to Legacy to learn more.
"I went to the information seminars and they were great," she says. "They were full of information. From there, every door just kept opening for me." Not at all fearful of the surgery - "I had such a positive outlook of it," she says - LaVerdure saw results almost immediately. Despite having to restrict her eating the first year, progress came easily for her.
"You use that first year to make new habits and changes," she says. For LaVerdure, that meant a new exercise regimen for someone who'd never been much into it before. These days, between the gym and running, LaVerdure is exercising six days a week.
She also minds her diet carefully but says it's not always easy. "I'm not the perfect eater," she says. It's been three years now, and LaVerdure has kept off all 130 pounds. She is thankful that everyone at the Weight Management Institute has been so supportive from start to finish.
"The surgery is really a tool," she says. "Exercise and diet are huge components, but the surgery is a great tool. It's allowed me to start over."