Earlier this year we asked you to get in touch to share your loved ones inspirational stories, for the chance to be crowned the Streamline Surgical Bariatric Hero and to win a dream prize.
We know that when our work in the operating theatre is done, our patients’ work is just beginning. After bariatric surgery it takes them a huge effort to overcome obesity and gain a healthier lifestyle. Over the years we’ve been encouraged by many patients who’ve told us just how much their lives have been improved. We are always delighted to hear how they are living more enriched lives as a result. To show our support and appreciation for their hard work and achievements we wanted to celebrate with a fun competition.
We were inundated with truly inspiring stories and our judging panel took on the difficult task to narrow down the nominations to our top 10 heroes. Then it was over to you to vote for your winner. The votes were collected, counted and drum roll……. you crowned Tracey the winner.
Congratulations ladies! We are really looking forward to celebrating with Tracey and the 3 runners-up; Keli, Michelle and Francesca at the Landmark Hotel, on the 15th September.
Here are their stories
Nominated by: Claire
Tracey is Claire’s hero because…
‘My sister has had it extremely tough over the last decade, at age 38 she had a heart attack and heart failure, her weight was a big contribution factor to this. Tracey underwent open heart surgery to have a mitral valve replacement, her recovery from this was long and she inevitably put on more weight and developed sleep apnoea and leg ulcers, the ulcers resulted in her being made practically immobile as it was too painful for her to walk, she became house bound and the weight gain continued. My sisters heart was increasingly struggling to cope and it became a life or death situation.
In 2014 she received her gastric bypass; her surgery was not without complications but the surgeons did everything they could to get her through it. Since the surgery Tracey has managed to lose 19st 2lb, her diabetes is now successfully controlled and her leg ulcers are non-existent. Her bypass journey was a difficult one but without it she wouldn’t be here, she still has health issues related to her heart and her epilepsy has also returned recently. She is now learning to live with this again.
My sister is now mentally strong and ready to do battle with anything life throws at her, she has 2 wonderful daughters, one of whom is getting married and she will now have her mum around to see it. Tracey has two wonderful grandchildren and another on the way. She can now do all the things that nannies are meant to do and enjoy watching them grow. But most importantly my sister has found love again, she has met a lovely man in Darren who takes her for who she is, in sickness and in health. She has a new lease of life and is enjoying doing things that many people just take for granted, she can now go on days out, enjoy evenings out and holidays away.’
Nominated by: Stephan
Keli is Stephan’s hero because….
‘We first met when she was consulting me for advice and my services as a Personal Trainer in 2010. During our discussion, Keli expressed how difficult she found it to lose weight and that she’d tried everything. She was desperate and thought a Personal Trainer would help her. After a year or so, Keli eventually lost only 2kg and by that time her calorie intake was very restrictive. I felt sorry for her, because here was someone who worked really hard, didn’t eat much and what she ate was very healthy, yet she just couldn’t shift the weight.
After riding an emotional roller coaster Keli managed to summon her courage and opted for a gastric band. Finally, Keli thought she would lose the weight and become the person she knew she had in her, hiding somewhere. Believe it or not Keli’s metabolism was so slow that even the band didn’t work! She lost 3kg and plateaued. I saw the pain and it was a very sad situation.
Luckily Shaw Somers wouldn’t give up on Keli and after numerous consultations they have decided to go for a gastric bypass. In 2016 the day came, Keli had the operation and something incredible happened. Not only did she start losing weight quickly, but the person it revealed was just amazing. Keli was radiating happiness and vitality. It was a privilege to have witnessed it and to have been part of the journey. Her determination, tenacity, strength and perseverance is something to admire. When Keli was dealing with her dilemma all these years, not once did she let it affect her professional life. Most people didn’t even know it was an issue for her.
Even now that she has an incredible body and just looks absolutely gorgeous, she doesn’t show it off or brag about it, she just wears it with class and style.’
Nominated by: Chantelle
Michelle is Chantelle’s hero because…
‘Since her gastric bypass nearly 8yrs ago Michelle is leading a second life. In 2010 she had a gastric bypass was back to work within three weeks and then a whole new life begun she lost 12st in the first year, her whole life changed. She has lived her life to the max, now able to fulfil dreams she never thought she would be able to. Simple things like not needing a seatbelt extender whilst going on an aeroplane and fitting comfortably in cinema/theatre seats. One dream of hers was to ride a horse along a beach which she did last year in Greece with her 2 nieces and friends children. We visited Disney World Florida in 2016 and we had visited many theme parks before but she would never go on anything, as she said she wouldn’t fit in any rides. However, this all changed in Disney World when she, along with her nieces, went on lots of rides. She loved every minute….I think! Whilst there she faced her fear of heights, taking her two nieces on a helicopter ride. Michelle was pleased as you had to be weighed before and had to be under 17st, which was.
Since losing all the weight she is living her dreams, travelling to Niagara Falls, Iceland to see the northern lights and been back to New York, where she walked EVERYWHERE as like she says “she can”. She has completed several “race for life” runs/walks (for cancer research) and other charity runs/walks and will do this with all the kids to encourage them all.
She left her job as a residential support worker after 2 years as she wanted a more physical job so she got a job at a Day centre for adults with learning difficulties and has now become a senior there. The job keeps Michelle very active, she often says “I’d never have been able to do this when I was bigger” and she knows this is very true.
Weight loss surgery has given Michelle a second chance at life and she really is making the most of it all.’
Nominated by: Jayne
Francesca is Jayne’s hero because…
‘My Daughter Francesca has had problems with her weight for the past 15 years. She was a typical ‘yoyo’ dieter, losing 4 stone three times and then putting it all ‘back on’ within months. Francesca always said she was happy but wore black, baggy clothes and hated having her photo taken. She stood at the back of the crowd and declined invitations to go out as she had ‘nothing to wear’. Since having her gastric sleeve Francesca has lost 8 stone, reached her target weight and gained a whole new world!
She has joined the Gym and started running, the Great South Run beckons in October! She is motivated and empowered to now ‘get out there’ and live life to the full, forging new relationships and experiences. Most importantly she is able to enjoy a much more active life with her son, who doesn’t recognize pictures of his mum from her previous ‘life’
But most importantly Francesca has realised that she ‘matters’. Weight loss surgery has given her confidence, visibility and colour and I have my daughter back!’
*Weight loss surgery results and benefits vary and are different for every individual.