Dave's story: Gastric bypass surgery

“My story started after a really horrific road traffic accident while driving for a bakery in my local area.

"It was a miserable icy cold November morning around 6:30am in 1987. I sustained serious injuries, severe cuts to my legs, my abdomen had been crushed, my nose was flattened, and my bones were severely twisted and broken in my face.

"I had numerous surgical procedures over a period of 12 months to rebuild my broken body. I was prescribed steroids for the pain but I remained on the same medication for too long – the steroids made me feel hungry and I got into the habit of eating too much.

"This would satisfy my hunger and at that time I thoroughly enjoyed the food, but I was gaining more and more weight. Over the next five years I kept putting on weight and got more depressed leading me to eat even more. I developed a craving for chocolate. The bigger the bar the better I felt, and the more I ate the more I wanted.”

During this time, Dave's personal relationship broke down and he felt alone and isolated. He felt nobody cared so he ceased to take any pride in his appearance. “I wasn't bothered about how I looked or how big I had become. I was at my biggest and had given up totally on life."

Wanting to change his situation 

"Then one day I woke up and realised that I needed to do something to sort my life out as I couldn’t go on this way. I made my decision to live and gave up the steroids and decided to leave my relationship. If I didn’t make the move now, I would never do it. I moved to a different city and was very fortunate to meet and fall in love with my present wife Linda (Lyn) my soul mate, my best friend, my life.

"After several months with my new life and partner I decided that I needed and wanted to do something about my weight. I visited my G.P. who discussed my options with me and referred me for weight management but although they were brilliant my weight was not coming off as I had envisaged. I also suffered two great losses in my family (mum and daughter) which affected me very badly. Once again I turned to food and started comfort eating. The depression got worse and I could feel myself falling into the same rut; but I wasn’t going to let this happen again.

"Then came the news I had been waiting for the major turning point in my life. I was told that I could apply to my local PCT for funding for obesity surgery with the support of the weight management team my GP practice and the loving caring support of Lyn. It was the beginning of my life saving journey to my weight loss. Within two months I had secured funding and been to see a bariatric surgeon at Spire Regency Hospital to discuss the best treatment for my personal circumstances.”

Having weight loss surgery

“On June 26th 2009 I had my surgery. I can honestly say that I have never looked back, the gastric bypass has been a great success for me and in less than 12 months I am now down to 20 stone and am so full of energy.

I am no longer out of breath when I climb stairs.

"I do a lot of walking and have even been to the gym. It’s so great to have a new healthier lifestyle, a new me. I had the gastric bypass for me - not for anybody else. I feel that the surgeon has saved and extended my life. The only thing I suffer from now is loose skin, but once I get to two years following my operation, I am hoping to have corrective surgery to help with that. I cannot thank the Spire Regency in Macclesfield enough for the support before and after my operation.

Support group 

"I will never forget OWLSS (Obesity Weight Loss Surgery Support Group) for the support of the mentoring scheme. Firstly for the opportunity of meeting Linda, my fellow group leader and also for the support of the mentoring scheme. Thank you to all, especially the above for their help and support to guide me to becoming a new slimmer, fitter me with a new life to live to the full."

Dave is now one of the group leaders at OWLSS and supports the Cheshire patient support evenings which are held every other month at the Spire Regency Hospital in Macclesfield. If you are considering weight loss surgery or would like to know more about OWLSS you can email Dave at dave@owlss.org.uk or visit www.owlss.org.uk