"I literally couldn't believe it was me in those pictures," said Nicole. "I had undergone gastric bypass surgery a few years prior, and I knew I had put quite a bit of weight back on. But it never really registered that I had regained that much until that moment. It made me sad. Something just clicked, and I knew I had to do something about it." Eager to choose the best local surgeon, and the most comprehensive surgical weight loss program available, Nicole started doing some online research and talked with a few friends who had undergone bariatric surgery in recent years. Particularly inspired by a friend whose surgery was performed at Saint Agnes Hospital, Nicole scheduled an initial consultation with Andrew Averbach, MD, to explore the possibility of having bariatric revision surgery.
"Dr. Averbach said he could perform the surgery and give me a second chance, but only if I could prove that I was really ready to make the changes necessary to be successful this time around," recalls Nicole. "He wanted me to lose some weight on my own, first."
Over the next seven months, Nicole did exactly that, bringing her weight down from 338 to 262 pounds, to demonstrate her commitment to getting healthy, once and for all. True to his word, Dr. Averbach performed her revision surgery in October 2017.
"I knew that once I recovered from the surgery, everything about my life would be different," said Nicole. "It would no longer be about living day to day, and all the things I wanted to do, but couldn't. I wanted to live, travel, and go ride roller coasters."
Today, Nicole weighs 182 pounds and fits comfortably into size 8-10 clothing. While she is happy with the number on her scale, she tries to focus more on her measurements and the story that is told when she looks through photos of her most recent and tremendously successful weight loss journey.
"I take a lot of pictures these days to remind myself of how much progress I've made, and that it's worth it," said Nicole. "I look and feel better than ever before in my life. I am so thankful for Dr. Averbach and the entire team who has supported me at Saint Agnes. They've helped me get my life back."
"I am going up in a hot air balloon because I can."