Behavioral Health/Chemical Dependency
Three Sisters Lives Renewed After Weight Loss Surgery at Silver Cross
One sister bikes, one walks the trails and one works out on the treadmill. All of them now living healthier and happier lives after undergoing bariatric weight loss surgery at Silver Cross Hospital last July. Together, the three sisters have already lost more than 300 pounds.
“One of the reasons we decided to have the surgery was because our mom was overweight and died at age 68 of congestive heart failure,” said Sandra Schmidt. “Our Dad was thrilled when we told him and is so proud of all of us that we have stayed committed to losing weight.”
Inspired by a co-worker who had weight loss surgery, Sandra told her sisters, Andrea Russell and Pamela Bricker, about it. They decided to attend a free informational seminar held at Silver Cross.
“This was a great way to learn about the entire process, said Andrea. “Once I learned what my options were, my apprehensions were alleviated and I became more determined to live a healthier life. Plus it has been a great support having my sisters to talk to during the entire process.”
Their surgeon Dr. Christopher Joyce and his partner, Dr. Brian Lahmann, have performed over 2,000 weight loss procedures, including laparoscopic gastric bypass, Lap-Band™ and the new REALIZE™ gastric band system. A Bariatric Center of Excellence as well as a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery, the Silver Cross Hospital’s program has a 0% operative mortality (death) rate and an extremely low complication rate. And patients lose an average of 86% of their excess body weight four years after gastric bypass surgery. Our patients benefit from a multidisciplinary approach," Dr. Joyce says. "We screen them very carefully to ensure their success and safety."
Pamela says you have to be determined to stick to the program, but the support is there to help you succeed. "We couldn't have found a better program. Dr. Joyce, his staff and the nurses at Silver Cross were all so kind, supportive and down-to-earth, we wouldn't have been so successful in our weight loss if it were not for them," said Pamela.
Dr. Joyce stresses "Obesity is a medical condition, just like heart disease or diabetes. Unfortunately, there is a lot of prejudice against obese people, but this surgery can help them lose weight, and most importantly, keep it off."
“Prior to my surgery, I suffered from high blood pressure and cholesterol, diabetes and painful joints. Now I’m not taking any of those medications,” said Pamela.
“I’ve lost weight that I never could lose,” added her sister Andrea.
“I should have done the surgery years ago because I wasted my forties being overweight,” says Sandra. “My life has changed dramatically. I used to have foot problems and now I don’t, and my stamina is so much stronger enabling me to play with my 7 month old grandson.”
“The sisters are a wonderful example of how life-changing bariatric surgery can be,” says Dr. Joyce. “Their new passion for life truly shows when you talk with them.”
Free Informational Sessions are held in the Silver Cross Hospital Specialty Care Pavilion every Wednesday at 6 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 17 and 24 at 10 a.m. Register to attend at www.silvercross.org 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 100 Top Hospitals National Award winner for the last four consecutive years and as one of America’s Most Customer Friendly Hospitals by the American Alliance of Healthcare Providers. With over 2,500 employees, physicians and volunteers, Silver Cross operates a 304-bed acute care hospital and eight satellite facilities providing outpatient services and physician offices. Construction has begun to build a state-of-the-art replacement hospital opening in 2012 in New Lenox. To learn more about Silver Cross Hospital or a referral to a physician on staff, visit www.silvercross.org or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).