Patient Testimonials


After almost three years, I have kept all the weight off and I am still doing very well. I weight 215 (pre-op weight was 568 lbs.) and feel fantastic! Dr. Felix and his staff are miracle workers in my book because it has been 2 and a half years and still feel great . . . the doctor and nurses were a great part of my inspiration along with my family. . . life is good !

God bless
and thanks again
Chuck
I am a CDL Delivery Driver. I've had problems with Diabetes since 1997. I was to the point of losing my CDL License because the Diabetes got out of hand. I had to either go on Insulin, or have Gastric By-Pass Surgery. I chose Gastric By-Pass Surgery for Diabetic reasons, and to improve my health conditions. Before making this decision I weighed 334 pounds. When I had the surgery done in January of 2009, I weighed 297 pounds. Today, I was weighed at my PCP's office, I now weigh 198 pounds!! I am off my Byetta, and Glucovance, which are diabetic medications.I am off of cholesterol medications: Tricor, and now only take 1/2 a pill of Simvistatin, and in my next PCP visit in 3 months, the DR. feels I will be completely off Simvistatin. Blood Pressure has come way down, he feels in his next visit I will go from 100mg to 50 mg of Cozaar. I have gone from a size 50 inch waist down to 36 inch waist size. I have stuck to the program that Dr. Felix and Dr. Wilcox has prescribed, and I haven't experienced any set backs. This has been a WIN WIN situation for me, and I feel Great. I have never been this thin, but most importantly, I am Healthier. I wish to thank both Dr. Felix and Dr. Wilcox for performing this surgical Procedure on me, and I highly recommend it to everyone health issues. They truly can help you, but it is up to you to make it work.
Bill
Numbers don't lie. Waist size 62 down to a 38 (and almost into a 36). Shirt size 5-6x down to a XXL. I've lost 208 pounds in less than a year. Had someone told me this last summer when I was 470 pounds and struggled to put shoes on, I would have laughed in your face.

I had tried every diet under the sun. Every one of them. Not a single one of them proved successful. I tried exercising. I tried everything. I was spiraling out of control. My portions were enormous. A Double-quarter pounder sandwich, TWO large fries, and TWO double cheeseburgers and a large Coke were the norm on a trip to McDonald's. A DiGiorno's pizza with a bag of shredded cheese on top was a meal, not to mention snacking while it was cooking.

To even think of those portions or that type of food today, however, makes me absolutely disgusted. Not only can I not eat that food, I won't.

In 2007, I had enough. As a truck driver, I was encountering trucks that I could not fit into. I was at the lowest point I had ever been. I kicked smoking in 2006, I quit dipping snuff in 2007, and quit sugar and carbonated drinks in 2008. In 2008, I was up to 12-24 cans of diet pop per day.

Something had to give. I made the decision that, after years of trying (and a lot of failing) I could not lose the weight on my own. I contacted Hope Bariatrics, desperate and scared. I figured if I could give up my addiction to caffeine, sugar, and fatty foods, I could do it for a lifetime. Enough was enough; there were people who weighed LESS than I did who died of a heart attack! The thought of my wife having to put me in a supersized coffin or being removed from my house by a crane was NOT what I wanted my final memory to be. What did I have to lose? Everything else failed, and I must admit I was a tad scared this may fail too. I had my share of advice from people and know-it-alls...Many people may say that surgery is the "easy" way out. Those are the same people who don't struggle with weight!

After the hoop jumping process my insurance company requires, I was scheduled for surgery. I was eating low fat foods, but still big portions. I was drinking 1-2 gallons of water a day. Every day. August 12, 2008 was the moment God and Dr. Felix and his staff gave me a new life. They enabled me to start over. Dr. Felix was my personal miracle worker. I literally owe my life to Dr. Felix and the Hope Bariatrics staff. EVERYONE at Hope Bariatrics treated me like gold from day one. I didn't get the "MY God he's huge" stares from anyone on the staff. No one talked down to me. No one made me feel bad about being 30 pounds shy of 500 pounds. Cindy is just as nice to me at 260 pounds as she was when I was 470. I love the staff!!! I can't say enough good things about them!!!

At almost one year post-op, I am often asked if I would do it again. Yes. Without hesitation I would. I went from 470 pounds to 260 pounds in less than a year. It is a lifelong commitment. Even at a year out, I am often asked if I miss junk food like pizza and McDonald's. Simply, no. I don't. The smell of McDonald's nauseates me now (seriously). Do I miss the all-you-can-eat buffet restaurants? No. Do I miss the pop? The tobacco? The caffeine? No. Not at all. I still am able to eat the good things, just in small quantities. There is a wonderful variety of no sugar added or sugar free "sweets" I had never noticed before while buying Oreos and sugared ice cream.....As for fast and processed foods? No way. I don't eat them. If I can succeed, anyone can!

Thank you to everyone at Hope Bariatrics for giving me my life back. With all of my heart, thank you all so much for everything.
Bill
I had type II diabities, was taking 7 medications, weighed 360 pounds, had tried to lose weight for years and failed. My doctor had suggested bariatric surgery more than once to me before I made up my mind to change my life for the better. I wanted to live to enjoy grandchildren and to see retirement. I've coached football for over 25 years and even my players were worried about how big I'd gotten. I couldn't effeciently coach because I couldn't run and bend and do the things I needed to do to teach them. After the surgery they were very supportive, as was my friend at work, she had a family member that had the surgery, and she made me realize how important how the exercise part was afterwards. She did the spin cycle, I ride my stationary bike everyday, ab-circle, and use the weight bench. I went back to work 11 days after my surgery, coached football 5 days every week, exercised, and followed the meal plan exactly. I now wear size 36 pants, I used to wear size 46. I lost 102 pounds in 5 months. I'd like to thank Dr. Sneeringer and Dr. Felix and his great staff, my family, and especially my wife for all the support they have given me, I have a new lease on live, and look forward to the future and all the good things to come. Bob
Bob
What a journey it has been! About a year ago, on my 39th birthday, I had an epiphany. I realized that I had a wonderful life. I was married to an amazing man; I had a great job, and was surrounded by lots of people who loved me. So why was I slowly killing myself? I had never had a weight problem...up until the age of 14 or so. From then on, it was all downhill, or in my case up on the scale. I graduated from high school at around 180 pounds. In college, while they talk about the freshman 10, I put on the freshman 40. Every year I'd put on a few more. But it's not like I didn't try to stop it. Over the years, I tried Weight Watchers countless times, Jenny Craig, Atkins, grapefruit, cabbage soup, and all the other fad diets out there. I don't think there is one I didn't try.. and fail at. So, as my confidence in myself went down, my weight went up until that 39th birthday when I weighed in at whopping 250. That is the day that I called my doctor who I'd seen for more than a decade for an appointment. When I finally got in to see her, she asked me if I was finally ready, as if she had been waiting for me to make this decision all along! She taled to me about Hope Bariatrics, and I was on my way to changing my life...at last. On the day of my surgery, I weighed 278 pounds, thanks to a few months of ice cream for dinner. I was very nervous, but I had my wonderfully supportive husband by my side. He kept telling me that he married me when I was a positively svelte 230 pounds and that no matter what happened, he would be with me. With those words, I went peacefully to sleep. The initial surgery went well, an I was home within a few days. I was incredibly nervous, but I had all the literature that Hope Bariatrics had given me to refer to. I followed the instructions to the letter, felt really good, and ready to go back to work. At that point I had dropped 10 pounds, and was feeling great. As the weeks went by, I began to notie that my clothes were fitting a little looser, and that people were beginning to say things about my weight loss. A few months in, and I ha to give all of my old clothes to charity. I also had to buy a belt, which I had never needed before. These days, I'm about 165 pounds, an even though I don't feel like I look that much different, to everyone else the change is dramatic. Recently, I had to give a presentation to a group of people at work that I had not seen since before my surgery. As I introduced myself, I heard a few gasps from the audience. Afterwards, at least a half a dozen people said they did not recognize me. So, that's my journey, and I have to say that even though there have been moments along the way where I questioned by decision, now that I've arrive at this wonderful place, I wouldn't have changed a thing. Thank you to Hope Bariatrics for all the support and encouragement you have provided along the way.
Cleva
Our names are Tracey and Amy. As of July 28th 2009, we have both lost over one hundred pounds (6 months after surgery)! Getting the Gastric Bypass Surgery was an enormous decision for both of us. We have both battled with our weight our whole lives. We have tried every diet and workout program out there, with no continuous success. We were tired of our weight taking over our lives. It was time for a permanent change! We both had the Gastric Bypass Surgery on January 14, 2009! Dr. Wilcox preformed our surgery. The first month after surgery was very challenging. We both had each other and an amazing family to lend us help and support. After we worked through the ups and downs during the first month, it was uphill from there. We have never looked back! We both went from a size 20/22 to a size 12/14! The surgery has changed our lives, both physically and emotionally! We have so much more energy now! We also have more self-confidence! We would love to thank everyone who has helped us overcome our battle with our weight. The staff members at Hope Bariatrics are amazing and have shown us endless support and patience! Thank you for everything!
Tracey and Amy
Had my surgery at Sewickley Valley Hospital in June 2003.

Pre-surgery BMI: 55

I have lost over 100 lbs. and my BMI is now 25.
Chris
Had gastric bypass surgery with Dr. Wilcox at Sewickley Hospital in July, 2003.

Pre-surgery BMI: 49.5

I have lost over 100 lbs.
Barb
As I sit here and think how wonderful I feel, I can't believe it's been a year since my surgery date, 11-17-08. I've lost over 100 lbs. I just came from my PCP (primary care physician) and he took me off my diabetic pills, that is just awesome. From a guy who used to eat a box of Little Debbies in one sitting, I don't even miss the sweets anymore. I'm happy I've finally had the courage to go through it. It has been a life changing challenge, and looking forward to a happy and healthy future.
Mark R.
Joe, 53 years old
Gastric Bypass, November, 2008, Dr. Felix

I knew I had to do something when my family doctor gave me 3 options
a)Fantasy Island (FAT camp)
b) a Pine Box or
c) the surgery.

I also have a 12 year old daughter that I want to walk down the aisle without a cane, crutch or walker. Lastly, I want to have a quality of life with the women that I love as we approach our senior years that is filled with activity and worry free living not being a burden to our children. I want to thank the Crew at Hope Bariatric(s) including Dr. Felix, Cindy, Diane, Denise and Sherry for their support, guidance, thoughtfulness, professionalism and caring in this past year. I started at 394 lbs BMI of 56.1 to 215 lbs BMI of 29.8 in just over 18 months. My only regret is that it took me too long to get over my own self-pride and apprehensions over whether or not this was the right choice. One year to the day after my surgery, I know now that it was the right choice and I know that this team has helped me through my process. Again thank you and if I can be of any help to you in the future please do not hesitate to call.
Joe
In March 2011 I attended Hope Bariatrics weight loss seminar at Jefferson Regional Medical Center. Little did I know, this would be the step that would change the rest of my life. I was tired of watching life pass me by as my weight held me back, it was time for me to live life to the fullest! This opportunity was given to me by Hope Bariatrics. The professionalism, knowledge, support and compassion of Dr. Felix and staff are phenomenal. I am 1 year post op and have lost nearly 130 lbs.! Most importantly, I realize that gastric bypass along with eating a healthy diet and maintaining an active life style is the answer to long-term weight loss.
Lisa
It is hard to believe that it's been a year since my surgery. I've gone from 370 lbs (BMI:44) to 227 lbs (BMI:26) in one year. I have to thank Dr. Wilcox and the entire staff at Hope Bariatrics for their hard work and support, they are truly wonderful. I have so much energy now, love playing softball and bowling without my knees and back constantly hurting. I love the time I have with my kids without getting tired so easily. After all the diets failed, I felt discouraged and just figured I'd be heavy the rest of my life. This has been one of the best decisions of my life and my self esteem is as good as it's ever been. It's an awesome feeling to go shopping for clothes and be able to pick out what you truly want.

God Bless,
Kevin W.
Hi, I'm Rudy. It will be ten years on June 21, 2014 I started on a remarkable journey; I had gastric bypass surgery.
Five months before that day, I was at my primary care physician's and he asked me if I ever thought of having bypass surgery. I never gave it a thought. I was on three blood pressure medications, cholesterol medicine, and 100 units of insulin every day. I had trouble breathing, just walking up a slight grade I had to use an inhaler.
At the end of our conversation, the doctor said I would most likely have a heart attack or a stroke within five years. That was a real eye opener. I was just 53 years old and heart problems ran in the family. My Dad was 56 when he had his first heart attack. I could not lose weight. I had no will power. I kind of blamed by Mom for my weight problem. As a child I was taught to clean my plate, which I often over ate. That carried on into my adult years.
I was running out of medical insurance and wanted the surgery. All went well the first month. I went back to work and was losing weight. The second month I couldn't eat anything. The intestine scarred where it was joined to my pouch and shrunk shut. Nothing could pass through. I went from 283 lbs. To 137 lbs. in five months. I lived on banana popsicles. I got my medical insurance back; within two days I was in the hospital getting dilated. I could get food down for days then everything would shut down. I was dilated six times with no success.
I was getting for surgery to reconnect the intestine to my pouch when I got a bowel blockage. Out patient surgery took care of that problem. No more sever cramps. A month later I went in for the reconnection.
Before the surgery, Dr. Mike (Felix) remarked how calm I was. My wife was a nervous wreck; Dr. Mike was real concerned. He asked me why I was so calm. I said my wife was upset for the both of us. I had confidence in his skills; and there was nothing I could do anyhow except go along for the ride. So why worry about something you have no control over.
Surgery went well. Recovery didn't take long and I was eating real food. I've been around 180 lbs. for 10 years now. I went from a 44 inch waist to a 34 inch waist. I feel strong and I have a lot more energy.
I don't use an inhaler anymore. I'm off all my blood pressure medications, cholesterol medicine and I went from 100 units of insulin down to 20 units of insulin a day.
At my heaviest, I weighed 283 lbs. and I have managed to keep 100 lbs. off for 10 years.
One thing I've learned is that I can leave food on my plate when I'm full.
Rudy
I want to thank Dr. Felix and the staff at Hope Bariatrics. They have all been very caring and understanding through this whole process. When I started this journey, I was 437 lbs. Gastric Bypass was my last hope for weight loss. Like most morbid obese people I had tried everything on the market to lose weight with not much success. I was a functional morbid obese person. I went to work everyday and maintained a "normal" life style. What I did was never go anywhere I knew I couldn't fit. Trying anything new was out of the question. I hated the person that was looking back at me in the mirror. Having the surgery was the best thing that I have ever done for myself. It allowed me to lose enough weight and gain the self confidence to start an exercise program. Now after one year I weigh 228 lbs. I never again want to see the words morbid obese next to my BMI. I now like the person who is looking back at me in the mirror. Sometimes I have to look twice to make sure it is me. I still have some work to do to obtain my goal, but I know that with hard work and perserverance I will get there.
Robin
Webster's definition of JOURNEY--a trip, to travel. Joanie's definition est. 7/6/05--much improved health, a new excitement for life, learning and practicing good habits, reaching for new goals. Meeting and sharing with new friends, a new understanding of commitment. My HEARTFELT THANKS to Dr. Wilcox, Dr. Felix and the wonderful staff and friends at HOPE BARIATRICS.
Joanie
"I was over 360 lbs. now I'm 235 and still losing! I have never been sick a day since surgery. A couple times I over ate and had some discomfort but it passed quickly. (won't do that again). I haven't taken a pill since surgery, no sugar pills, no heart meds, nothing at all. My sugar was bouncing between 400 & 500 before surgery off and on even with meds. I am so happy with my results. I want to thank you and all the personnel in your office and thanks to Dr. Felix. A job well done! I have nothing but good things to say about the whole deal from the treatment in the hospital, before and after surgery, to follow ups in office. You girls are so nice when you call to check on me, even though I'm over 100 miles away. Thanks again so very much.
Terry
Going through the process of gastric bypass surgery gave me affirmation, confidence and encouragement. My affirmation came in the form of a friend having the procedure done on the same day as me and being my roommate at the hospital. I was confident with my decision knowing that God placed a friend on this journey with me. One who would understand completely any and all emotions or struggles I had. I've been encouraged by the support of my friend, our support group, my family and other friends. I've used and will continue to use my surgery testimony to help others along their journey.
Facing risks of serious health problems because of my obesity, including Type 2 Diabetes, Sleep Apnea, and Heart Disease, HOPE Bariatrics gave me the tools I needed to begin a healthier life. Within the past year, I have been able to lose 100 pounds and went from a size 22 to a size 10. The person I was before surgery is gone and I will not let her come back. I have more energy, able to run and play with my kids, and now promote a healthier lifestyle in my home.
I thank God for giving me the friend I need to go through this journey, the family to support me, and a company like HOPE Bariatrics that equipped me with the tools necessary and continues to encourage me, give me access to a nutritionist and nurse, and for making me part of their family.
Annice
I have struggled with obesity for over fourteen years. I tried Weight Watchers, Optimum Weight Loss Center, Weight Loss programs with professionals, exercise programs, being hypnotized, Bible studies wanting to help people lose weight, the whole gamut. I felt like this struggle would never end. I HAVE to eat in order to survive but the feeling of being out of control when it came to food was never ending.

It wasn't until I walked into an introductory seminar for bariatrics in January 2014 that I truly found HOPE! As I sat and listened to the information being presented, I felt an excitement rising inside of me. HOPE Bariatrics was going to be my lifeline. I started making the appointments necessary to begin this process. I wasn't sure if I would qualify for this program, but I was going for it. As I began to go through the check list and six months of doctor visits, I grew more and more excited about it. I began going to the support group meetings and hearing the stories of others who had bypass surgery. I knew that this wasn't going to be a walk in the park, but I was ready.

It was at one of the support group meetings that I found out that a friend from church was also on this journey to have surgery. It was wonderful to have someone to go through this with. We found out that we were both approved through our insurance and a date was set. The SAME date, we would have surgery on the same day and share a room in the hospital together. Only God could work out something like that! The surgery went well and recovery was difficult, but every day I felt a little better. I had a whole new way of eating, drinking, taking vitamins and exercising. I needed to set alarms on my phone to remind me to take vitamins. I was now looking at labels to check for the amount of sugar, calories and protein. I needed be eating/drinking 60-80 grams of protein a day to help with the burning of fat.

With the support of those from HOPE Bariatrics, family, friends and those who have had the surgery, I have come a long way. I am one year out from my procedure and have gone down 14 sizes and 90 pounds. I have so much more energy and I feel better. I actually look forward to exercising and showing my kids that I can water/snow ski. I enjoy jumping on the trampoline and being active with them.

I know that I still have to follow the program and watch what and how much I eat. This will have to continue for the rest of my life, but it's worth it. I don't ever want to be obese again! If you are reading this and wondering if this is something you should do, I say, YES, DO IT! The only regret that I have is that I didn't do it years ago.
Kristan
My name is Jolene and I had bariatric surgery with Dr. Felix on June 18, 2009. My life has changed drastically since that day and I celebrate this date as my "rebirthday". The transformation has been amazing and I am ecstatic with my success. Having bariatric surgery was one of the best decisions I ever made and the improvement in my quality of life is beyond what I had originally imagined. I never did properly thank Dr. Felix or the staff for assisting along this chosen path...so.... THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!!!

Last fall I was in your office with a friend of mine and we took my "after" picture. I was never able to see that photo and I keep looking on-line to see if it has been added. Is it possible to see the before and after pics? I would appreciate seeing these and being able to get copies. Also, I am not sure if I should be following up any further with Dr. Felix. I feel fantastic!!!! Thank you once again!
Jolene
In December of 2009 I made the decision that I had to change my life. I decided to take the journey of lifestyle change and begin a new chapter in my life. As an adolescent, teenager, and young adult, I struggled with weight and low self esteem daily. I thought that I would punch the next person who told me that "Angela, you have such a pretty face..." I heard enough of that and decided that I wanted to be healthy. Knowing that I was getting winded by simply running the sweeper or walking up and down steps, not having a bath towel fit around me, my stomach hitting the steering wheel of my car, my children drawing big circles for bodies and saying mommy its you, not being able to bend over...these were the reasons why I needed to change my life. June 2, 2010 was the happiest and scariest day of my life: The day I had my bariatric surgery and received the lap band. I was scared because I knew this was it...I had to change...no looking back...I was happy because this was it...I was going to change and there is no looking back. With the struggles throughout my life being teased by others, being embarrassed of the way I looked, hating the way I felt. I WAS READY. I tried everything from Formu-3; Weight Watchers, Herbalife, Xenadrine, Atipex...you name it I tried it. It may have worked for a minute, but the weight always came back. I was determined to make the changes I needed to make. When you are ready, change comes easier. I was an emotional eater, I needed to change that. I needed to find other ways to channel those feelings. So I did. I don't eat anymore when I am happy, sad, angry, upset...being 100% Italian doesn't make any of this any easier. I am not going to say there are not days when I want to stick my face into a Whopper or Big Mac...but I know today where that will get me. Right back to 226...a number that I will never let myself see again. I was addicted to food, just like others are addicted to drugs. When you are ready for change, change will happen. This is a lifetime commitment, a lifetime change, a behavior change, a food change...a change I can happily and confidently say was the best thing I ever did. Lap Band was the the final tool in my belt to give me what I needed to be successful. I listened to the dietitian...for the first time in my life...I remember everything she said to me...I tell others what she said to me...I practice what I was told about eating and chewing and not drinking while I eat. It all came together like pieces of a puzzle. My puzzle will never be complete as each day that goes by adds another piece...another successful day of change. Today, I am proud to say I weigh 130 pounds. I have never felt healthier in my life. I am so much more energetic, I enjoy looking in the mirror (maybe too much), I can keep up with my children who enjoy me so much more...and my relationship with my husband is so much better. He loves me regardless, but his smile is bigger and the hugs are tighter. I know it is different for him just like it is different for me. I had support from my family which was huge, as they seen me struggle every day. I am happy to say I am happy with me today.

Thank you to Hope Bariatrics, all the staff and Dr. Wilcox especially, for helping me change my life. None of this would have been possible with all of you and the confidence you instilled in me along my life changing journey!!!
Angela
When you asked for a picture of me doing something that I can do now that I could not do prior to my surgery, I thought about it long and hard for several days. I thought I can send you a pic of me on the treadmill, playing freeze tag with my kids, going down the slide or across the monkey bars, I could even send you a pic of me tying my shoes. I thought about taking a picture of my shadow, the one thing I use to hide from. I hated my shadow…it looked like a huge marshmallow with arms BUT now I love my shadow; I jump at the chance to chase it. But, the biggest change in my life is one that is hard to capture in pictures.
Prior to my surgery I had so many medical issues like gout, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, fatty liver, severe sleep apnea, Meniere's, arthritis throughout my spine, gull and kidney stones and I was just plain miserable. I remember lying awake at night fantasizing about what would make me happy again…a big house, winning the lottery, a fancy car or maybe moving out of the state or even the country…surely those things would make me happy. All the pain and discomfort and the sadness masked the fact that I had so much to be happy for because I have always had love in my life but I could not see it; I even think I stopped feeling it for a long while. I would smile at my loved ones and occasionally I would laugh too but it was more mechanical than anything else. It broke my heart the day my youngest son told his teacher that I never laugh. I thought he had to be wrong; surely I laugh but you know kids…they are not easily fooled. I think Jayson knew that I wasn't feeling what you should feel when you are laughing or smiling.
Finally I made the decision to go with the gastric bypass surgery and I can tell you, with each day of recovery after the bypass I began to feel again; I was crawling out of a depression that I did not even know I was in. Before I knew it I was even laughing and smiling and I was truly feeling it. I am off the c-pap machine and all of the medicine I was on and the nights of fantasizing about what would make me happy were replaced by happy memories of the day's events and making plans for the following day. My happy memories are now of silly little moments like playing with the kids, dancing with my daughter, walking the dogs and laughing at random things my loved ones do. The plans I make for the future make me giddy; these aren't huge plans of travel or spending money…these plans are bigger than that, they are of living my life…baking cookies, coloring with my kids, playing freeze tag, and walking my dogs.
You see Cindy, the biggest thing this surgery did for me was to allow me to smile at my life…and truly mean it. So…I am sending you a picture of me smiling.
Lora
...." today i finshed my first half marathon in under 3 hours! I don't think that i have ever been so excited before. I owe you guys so much thanks without your guys wonderful support i don't think i could have did this! This is a awesome accomplishment and i hope that everyone of your patients will realize that this is not easy but DO NOT GIVE UP! Here are some pictures of this wonderful day i wanted to share. Thanks so much again you guys have been a blessing."
Brittany
Here's my story:

I have struggled with my weight since I was in grade school. I came from a family that celebrated with food at every event. We had ravioli eating contests and I was a member of the clean plate club! In grade school and high school I wasn't obese but I was never “thin” enough to meet other's approvals. As a junior in high school I was selected to be a majorette and my band director called me aside and told me I was too fat and needed to lose weight (I was probably 10 pounds overweight). I was so humiliated that I starved myself and wound up in the hospital and missed 6 weeks of school. Thus began my “yo-yo” dieting lifestyle that continued until I met with Dr. Felix and decided to have a gastric by-pass in November 2013.

At my heaviest, I weighed 261 pounds that was mostly due to steroid shots/nerve blocks to try and alleviate my chronic back pain that came from a car accident and lifting my laptop briefcase the wrong way herniating a disc in my lower back. In 2007 I had back surgery that failed and wound up using a cane and a mobility scooter. I had type II diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetic neuropathy that left me dragging my right leg and foot around. I took 13 different medications and was miserable. I knew I had to do something or I thought I was going to lose my right foot and was going to wind up in a wheel chair all day. That's when I asked my PCP about weight lose surgery and he recommended Hope Bariatrics.

Dr. Felix is my superhero and in my mind a miracle worker! Before the surgery, we spoke about the existing scar tissue I had from previous surgeries and he said he would try really hard to perform my bypass laproscopically (and he did). Dr. Felix won't take credit for it, but 3 days after my surgery my right foot stood up and I could feel my toes! The first time in seven years my right foot began to work and the feeling started to return to the soles of my feet. That same day the endocrinologist said I was no longer diabetic! Each day it seemed something new and wonderful happened to improve my health. I went from 13 pills down to 3 (that really are optional). I'm no longer diabetic, no longer have high blood pressure, no longer have high cholesterol and after two months of rehab I no longer have to use my leg brace, no longer walk with a cane or use my mobility scooter. My pain level has gone way down and I have the feeling back in my foot and leg. I'm 5 months out from surgery and my weight is down to 175. I plan to lose another 30 by the end of the year so that I can finally be referred to as a “normal” weight.

Now that I can, I am “running” away from all the bad things when I was heavy to keep my brand new life healthy. I ran my first 5K on 4/12/2014 and finished in under an hour and I was 4th from the last (but not last!). I'm running in the Pittsburgh Superhero race (charity to help abused kids) this weekend and will attempt the Pittsburgh ½ marathon on May 4th (if I don't make it this year there is always next year  ). I am FOREVER thankful to Dr. Felix and his wonderful and caring staff for giving me my life back. If you're on the fence about having the surgery, “just do it” as the Nike logo says, you'll be so happy to have your life back it is soooo worth it!

If there is anyone who wants to talk to me I'd be happy to let them know my experience.

Sincerely,
Donna
Donna
I can not even BEGIN to thank Hope Bariatrics for truly changing my life. I could not be doing ANY of what I am doing had it not been for my gastric bypass. I must admit, that for the first couple of months I actually wished I hadn't gone through with it. It was definitely a struggle but now I am SO thankful for everything! My energy level is higher than it has been in 20 years! My pain levels have significantly decreased. My self esteem is positive for the first time in years!!! I never feel like I'm going to a doctor's office when I come in for an appointment, but instead feel like I'm going for coffee with my extended family! You all have been wonderful to me. I don't even have words to describe the incredible support you have all shown me throughout this past 6 months. Thank you from the bottom of my much healthier heart!!!! God Bless! (office note: Kristyn lost 88 lbs in 8 months!)
Kristyn
It is hard to believe that it has been a year and that I went from 316 lbs. to 165 lbs. I never thought that would happen: a size 28 to 12! I never thought I would see a size 12, I thought I would be a 16 or 18. I can walk with my grandchildren without being out of breath, tired or my feet hurting! It is a blessing, thank you to all of you who have helped me to reach this place in my life. Each of you have been a blessing to me and such a help anytime I called. Thank you again for everything!
Debbie
23 years ago I started my family. Somewhere I lost myself and the two reason's that I live, my sons to obesity. But thanks to you I have my two sons for the rest of my life. I can't thank you enough for this. As a family we weighed 1080 pounds. We have lost 440 pounds and we are still losing.

God Bless you all

Virginia, Joel, and Glenn Wykoff
Virginia, Joel, and Glenn
My weight issues started when I was going into my teenage years. When I got married and had two wonderful children my weight became even more out of control. Having two children and a lifelong battle with food, I finally decided that it was time to get my life and weight under control. I decided that it was time for me to under go gastric by-pass surgery. The morning I went in for my surgery I was not even a bit scared. I knew I was doing the right thing for myself. That's right FOR MYSELF! I weighed 263 lbs. that morning. 9 1/2 months later I weighed 138 lbs. I have gone from a size 22/24 to a size 4/6. Everyday is a challenge!! Some may think it was the easy way out. Those are the people who don't know what it is like to live on the other side of the scale. I would like to think I could be an inspiration to those who have had a life long battle with their weight, because I know what it is like on the other side. I no longer live on a diet. I live on what I now call "life". I said good-bye to my 20's and hello to the thin person that I have always wanted to be. Thank you Dr. Felix and your wonderfull staff. You gave me my life back. Sincerely, Cindy
Cindy
PATIENT TESTIMONIAL
Numbers don't lie. Waist size 62 down to a 38 (and almost into a 36). Shirt size 5-6x down to a XXL. I've lost 208 pounds in less than a year. Had someone told me this last summer when I was 470 pounds and struggled to put shoes on, I would have laughed in your face.

I had tried every diet under the sun. Every one of them. Not a single one of them proved successful. I tried exercising. I tried everything. I was spiraling out of control. My portions were enormous. A Double-quarter pounder sandwich, TWO large fries, and TWO double cheeseburgers and a large Coke were the norm on a trip to McDonald's. A DiGiorno's pizza with a bag of shredded cheese on top was a meal, not to mention snacking while it was cooking.

To even think of those portions or that type of food today, however, makes me absolutely disgusted. Not only can I not eat that food, I won't.

In 2007, I had enough. As a truck driver, I was encountering trucks that I could not fit into. I was at the lowest point I had ever been. I kicked smoking in 2006, I quit dipping snuff in 2007, and quit sugar and carbonated drinks in 2008. In 2008, I was up to 12-24 cans of diet pop per day.

Something had to give. I made the decision that, after years of trying (and a lot of failing) I could not lose the weight on my own. I contacted Hope Bariatrics, desperate and scared. I figured if I could give up my addiction to caffeine, sugar, and fatty foods, I could do it for a lifetime. Enough was enough; there were people who weighed LESS than I did who died of a heart attack! The thought of my wife having to put me in a supersized coffin or being removed from my house by a crane was NOT what I wanted my final memory to be. What did I have to lose? Everything else failed, and I must admit I was a tad scared this may fail too. I had my share of advice from people and know-it-alls...Many people may say that surgery is the "easy" way out. Those are the same people who don't struggle with weight!

After the hoop jumping process my insurance company requires, I was scheduled for surgery. I was eating low fat foods, but still big portions. I was drinking 1-2 gallons of water a day. Every day. August 12, 2008 was the moment God and Dr. Felix and his staff gave me a new life. They enabled me to start over. Dr. Felix was my personal miracle worker. I literally owe my life to Dr. Felix and the Hope Bariatrics staff. EVERYONE at Hope Bariatrics treated me like gold from day one. I didn't get the "MY God he's huge" stares from anyone on the staff. No one talked down to me. No one made me feel bad about being 30 pounds shy of 500 pounds. Cindy is just as nice to me at 260 pounds as she was when I was 470. I love the staff!!! I can't say enough good things about them!!!

At almost one year post-op, I am often asked if I would do it again. Yes. Without hesitation I would. I went from 470 pounds to 260 pounds in less than a year. It is a lifelong commitment. Even at a year out, I am often asked if I miss junk food like pizza and McDonald's. Simply, no. I don't. The smell of McDonald's nauseates me now (seriously). Do I miss the all-you-can-eat buffet restaurants? No. Do I miss the pop? The tobacco? The caffeine? No. Not at all. I still am able to eat the good things, just in small quantities. There is a wonderful variety of no sugar added or sugar free "sweets" I had never noticed before while buying Oreos and sugared ice cream.....As for fast and processed foods? No way. I don't eat them. If I can succeed, anyone can!

Thank you to everyone at Hope Bariatrics for giving me my life back. With all of my heart, thank you all so much for everything.
 

- Bill



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