Kirsty Westerman, 22, from Leeds, lost more than half of her body weight following gastric bypass surgery under the care of Mr Jeremy Hayden at Spire Leeds Hospital.
Just over two years ago Kirsty weighed 27 stone and a GP told her she might not reach the age of 30 without drastic weight loss. “He also said it would be extremely difficult for me to get pregnant,” said Kirsty. “I knew it was time to do something about it.”
"This surgery has been life transforming for me"
Kirsty Westerman, Leeds
Since then life has changed dramatically for Kirsty. After having a gastric bypass at Spire Leeds Hospital, Kirsty lost 14.5 stone and recently gave birth to her son, Oscar. “This surgery has been life transforming for me,” said Kirsty, a former child carer, specializing in learning and development. “I always wanted to have children. If it wasn’t for the surgery this might not have been possible.”
Kirsty’s weight problems date back to her childhood. “I don’t think I overate, but I was always a big child and my mum and gran were also big,” said Kirsty “I tried to lose weight throughout my life but the pounds just continued to pile on.”
Then a visit to her doctor gave her the advice to find an appropriate solution for treatment. She decided to find out more about the weight loss options available to her and attended a weight loss forum at Spire Leeds Hospital.
In August 2011, she underwent a Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass at Spire Leeds Hospital as an NHS patient. Mr Jeremy Hayden, consultant Upper GI and Obesity Surgeon performed the procedure.
“Kirsty was young to have this type of surgery at 20-years-old,” said Mr Hayden. “The average age of my patients is usually 40 to 45 for this type of procedure. It’s very serious for someone of Kirsty’s age to have such a high BMI (Body Mass Index). Her BMI was 60. I would have expected her to live above 30 years but I would have expected her to have probably developed type 2 diabetes before then and possibly hypertension.”
Kirsty, who is single and lives in Kippax, was supported throughout the process by her mum, Julie. The surgery set her on track to steady weight loss and a new lifestyle. Before having the procedure Kirsty would avoid social situations and stayed home most of the time. ”I now have more energy and I go out more and can do lots with Oscar,” she said.
Commenting on the successful outcome of the procedure, Mr Hayden said,”It has changed Kirsty’s whole outlook and attitude to life in a positive way and with the arrival of her baby boy her priorities have changed.”
Mr Hayden added, “We would normally advise against conceiving until 12 to 18 months after bariatric surgery and it’s important the obstetrician is aware the patient has had weight loss surgery so bloods can be monitored during pregnancy.”
Kirsty is happy with her current weight having dropped to a dress size 12 to 14 from her previous size 32. “I’m keeping the weight off. I walk everywhere. I try to eat healthier foods and tend to do more snacking throughout the day rather than eating big meals. I can eat whatever I want in very small portions,” she added.
She is looking forward to the future. Kirsty has retrained as a nail technician and plans to start her own business.
“I would recommend this procedure to anyone in a similar situation to mine. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done. If it wasn’t for this I would not have Oscar and I wouldn’t have this promising future to look forward to. It’s changed my life!”