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Running for Her Life After Weight Loss Surgery

Plainfield Woman loses 80 pounds with REALIZE Gastric Banding at Silver Cross Hospital

New Lenox, IL (October 25, 2013) — For most of her adult life, Regina Howard, of Plainfield, suffered from obesity, sleep apnea, pain in her joints and an irregular thyroid. The thought of running a 5K race seemed unthinkable due to her poor health. However after losing over 80 pounds in 24 months as a result of her weight loss surgery at Silver Cross Hospital, Regina’s prior health issues no longer exist enabling her to run an hour every other day and complete 5K races. 

Photo caption: After living most of her adult life overweight, Regina Howard, of Plainfield, stands proudly since she lost over 80 pounds just 24 months after her weight loss surgery at Silver Cross Hospital.

“As a result of my weight loss surgery, I am a 100% different person,” said Regina Howard. “When I was overweight, I never wanted to spend time outside, but after my weight loss, I love being outdoors. I enjoy running throughout my neighborhood and feel this new activity gives me more energy and motivation to stay committed to a healthy life style. ” 

One of Howard’s challenges after her weight loss surgery was to find an exercise that she liked to do. “After not exercising for so many years, it was a challenge to find an activity that I enjoyed. So once I started walking on the treadmill and running outside, I really became interested in pushing my limits with running,” said Howard. “The key to my exercise success was doing a routine that I really enjoyed.” 

Regina’s family medicine physician, Ananda Pillai, M.D., encouraged her to attend BMI Surgery’s free informational session.  “I was so impressed with Dr. Christopher Joyce’s inspiring presentation. It truly changed my life and I was instantly hooked to have the weight loss surgery and follow the program. After talking with Dr. Joyce and his staff at BMI Surgery, I felt so reassured because they were all so knowledgeable and supportive,” shares Regina. “They all made me feel so comfortable and at ease that I could actually have successful long-term weight loss as long as I was willing to follow the program.” With their support, Regina committed to the workout and diet plan and underwent REALIZE™ Adjustable Gastric Band weight loss surgery on June 4, 2010. 

Patients benefit from a multidisciplinary approach, with the help of many different departments at Silver Cross. "Patients see an exercise physiologist, dietitian, cardiologist, psychologist, pulmonologist, and a bariatric nurse to get them ready for surgery," says Dr. Christopher Joyce. "We screen our patients very carefully to ensure their success and safety."  

“Before I had my surgery, Dr. Joyce explained that the surgery was merely a tool to lose weight and the real success depended on me being accountable for my own health,” stated Regina. “Through the entire process, Dr. Joyce and his staff were always there for me right away to answer any of my questions. Also the nurses at Silver Cross Hospital were wonderful during my surgery and hospital stay. They made me feel so cared for and constantly informed me of my treatment plan.” 

“Regina is an excellent example of how bariatric surgery can positively enhance one’s life. Her dedication to committing to the program by eating well and exercising was critical in her ability to lose over 80 pounds,” says Dr. Christopher Joyce. “And her ability to run in 5K races is truly inspiring for others who think they may never be able to run in a race.” 

The American Society of Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery defines the morbidly obese as those with a body mass of 40 or above, or, for a normal height woman, being more than 100 pounds overweight. Patients with a BMI of 35 and higher, who are suffering the medical consequences of obesity, are often best treated with bariatric surgery as opposed to nonsurgical weight loss. Those who are morbidly obese are at a higher risk of mortality and such extreme obesity puts people at risk for life threatening disease, including heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes. 

BMI Surgery has changed the lives of over 3,300 patients with life changing surgeries including laparoscopic gastric bypass, laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, and Lap-Band and REALIZE gastric band systems at Silver Cross Hospital.   Board certified laparoscopic and bariatric surgeons Christopher Joyce, M.D., and Brian Lahmann, M.D., are dedicated to helping patients win their personal battles with obesity and enjoy healthier lives, which is why they dedicated themselves to opening a new office on the new Silver Cross Hospital campus at I-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox. Silver Cross has been named a Bariatric Center of Excellence by the American Society of Bariatric Surgery and a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery. 

To find out more about the bariatric surgery program at Silver Cross Hospital, attend a free informational session on both traditional and laparoscopic surgery on any Wednesday at 5:45 p.m. at BMI Surgery at 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., Suite 260, New Lenox.  To attend, visit or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325). 

About Silver Cross Hospital                 

Silver Cross Hospital is a not-for-profit health care provider serving Will County and southwest suburban communities since 1895. Silver Cross has been recognized as a Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals National Award winner for seven consecutive years and as a Hospital of Choice by the American Alliance of Healthcare Providers. With over 3,000 employees, physicians and volunteers, Silver Cross operates a 289-bed acute care hospital and 9 satellite facilities providing outpatient services and physician offices. Silver Cross opened a state-of-the-art replacement hospital on February 26, 2012 at I-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox. To learn more about Silver Cross Hospital or a referral to a physician on staff, visit or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).


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Located at 1900 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox, IL 60451   Main Phone (815) 300-1100

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Physicians on Silver Cross Hospital’s Medical Staff have expertise in their areas of practice to meet the needs of patients seeking their care.  These physicians are independent practitioners on the Medical Staff and are not the agents or employees of Silver Cross Hospital. They treat patients based upon their independent medical judgment and they bill patients separately for their services.