Jackie now, 144 lbs

Jackie then, 335 lbs.

“Dr. Patel was not only convenient, he pointed the way for me to go.”

  • Can finally wear jeans!
  • No longer requires use of a CPAP machine.
  • High blood pressure disappeared!

Gastric Bypass Surgery Success Story Jackie Harris from Del Rio, TX *

“The beauty of the bypass is that not only do you lose the weight, but you gain the ability to keep it off.”

Weight before Surgery: 335 lbs.
Goal Weight: 175 lbs.
Current weight: 144 lbs.
Procedure: RNY 12/27/10

Jackie Harris started as a very skinny child, too skinny in fact. Her parents had her take lots of vitamins to maintain her health and tried to get her to gain weight. It wasn’t until Jackie went to live with her grandmother for a period of time that she began to put on some weight, due to having a major sweet tooth! Jackie could eat sweets all day and never feel sick; and at only 5’2”, it didn’t take long to put her in an unhealthy BMI range. The fact that she also had polio didn’t help out. Her effected muscles wouldn’t let her participate in much athletic activity outside of walking.

Overtime, Jackie’s parents became critical of her weight gain, which only had the reverse effect on her progress. As she advanced into retirement age and her weight continued to increase, Jackie developed a wide variety of complications including high blood pressure, obstructive sleep apnea, kidney problems, arthritis, & back pain. She couldn’t move around very easily and used a walker because of her arthritis in her legs, hips, & knees, and couldn’t take any pain medication due to the severity of her stage 3 kidney problems. Jackie knew it was time to lose weight when she started having fears of falling and not being able to get back up. “I had horrors of falling! I still don’t want to get on the floor to this day because of the flashbacks,” Jackie exclaimed.

Just when she thought things couldn’t get any worse, the muscles in Jackie’s face started relaxing and upon visiting her primary care physician (PCP) discovered that she had a viral infection, possible Lyme disease, which caused her to develop Bell’s palsy. She was on intravenous antibiotics for 8 months and the medication had to be mixed in a sterile environment. All of the stress caused her to shoot up another 100 lbs.!

Once Jackie’s viral infection healed, she was determined to lose the weight. Jackie’s PCP in Del Rio helped her drop 85 lbs., but she still had so much more to lose and was struggling to keep her head above water. “I was scared to fall completely off the wagon,” said Jackie. Coincidentally, there was a bariatric clinic that traveled to Del Rio twice a month and shared the office with her PCP, which turned out to be the office of Dr. Nilesh A. Patel. Jackie attended the weight loss seminar with curiosity in the gastric bypass surgery and was very pleased with Dr. Patel and his staff. “Dr. Patel was not only convenient, he pointed the way for me to go.” she enthusiastically stated. Jackie showed concerns about whether her Medicare insurance would cover the gastric bypass with so many medical conditions working against her, but Dr. Patel quickly assured her that she was a perfect Medicare candidate. Jackie also found support in one of Dr. Patel’s medical assistants, San Juanita or SJ, “SJ was my go-to girl. She had the surgery too, so I looked to her for advising throughout my entire process.”

After proceeding with her gastric bypass procedure, Jackie stuck to her post-operative diet plan and managed to not only reach her goal weight of 175 lbs., but surpass it! She feels at least ten years younger: no more cane, no more high blood pressure, kidney function improved, & no more CPAP machine for her sleep apnea. “I can breathe again,” Jackie exclaimed, “I cannot believe what this procedure has done for my overall well-being.”

Another bonus is that Jackie is able to wear something she hasn’t been able to wear in years, jeans! She ended up giving away sacks & sacks of clothing to those in need. “There’s no way I can fit into these clothes anymore,” Jackie said, “I’m not a seamstress. That’s the old me. The beauty of the bypass is that not only do you lose the weight, but you gain the ability to keep it off.”

Jackie also participates in local activities with other retirees in her town to stay active. A lot of her newer friends are shocked upon hearing her story, and she has since motivated a few to also receive weight loss surgery from Dr. Patel. “I want to inspire older women & men that hesitate to make a drastic change in their lifestyle to do it for their health’s sake. I wish I would’ve done this 20 years ago!”

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