Local couple braves weight loss surgery together
Courtny Gerrish, Stephanie Graham
Courtny Gerrish reportsPhoto: Video by tmj4.com
Local husband and wife Fred and Becca met online more than a decade ago. They like looking back on all their travel memories. But their traveling days have decreased through the years.. as life got busier, and they got heavier.
"I realized I'm getting older, and I'm hurting. For someone my age, I have a lot of pain," Fred admits.
Becca adds, "I'm only 31, and I was put on blood pressure medicine in my mid-20s."
Both have gone on diets. Fred even lost 100 pounds--twice!
"The problem is, once you get to that point, it's really hard to maintain," Fred says.
So they decided to undergo weight loss surgery--together.
Dr. Tom Chua, Medical Director of Bariatric Surgery at Aurora Sinai Medical Center, was the first doctor in Wisconsin to do lap-band surgery in 2001. The band is permanent, and helps restrict appetite. Surgery only takes about an hour.
"It's the safest of all the bariatric surgeries," Dr. Chua explains.
Aurora staff even posted live updates on Twitter during the surgery--so people could learn more about it.
"It's amazing people can have communication around the globe," Dr. Chua exclaims.
Dr. Chua says its rare for a couple to do the surgery together, but it's a good idea. "They have like a built in support group, so they can help each other out and watch each other."
Fred and Becca need to follow a strict diet while they heal, including supplement milkshakes, and portion sizes that most people eat for a daily snack! Becca shows us a container of her meal, saying, "My regular meal is 2 tablespoons mashed potatoes with 1 tablespoon cheese soup just for some flavor."
It's not easy, but this husband and wife are determined to make it work--now and in the years to come.
"The more years we have together the happier I'll always be," Fred says.
Weight loss is a little slower with lap-band than other surgeries, but Fred and Becca should see significant results in about six months. We'll be sure to check in and see how they're doing.