HOMEWOOD, AL (WBRC) - A local couple is sharing their story of going through gastric bypass surgery together.
Cheryl and Dwight Smith have been married for 28 years. They not only share their lives together, they are also in the same profession.
“Met each other in sales and then decided later to go back to nursing school, so we did that together,” said Cheryl.
Both are now nurses at Brookwood Baptist Medical Center. A year and half ago, Cheryl decided she wanted to have gastric bypass surgery.
“I had been overweight for 20 years,” said Cheryl. “Dieted, exercised, nothing was working.”
When Cheryl told Dwight she wanted to have the surgery, he was not only supportive, he decided to have it too. Both were facing health issues.
“I had back pain, knee pain, ankle pain from carrying around an extra 90-plus pounds,” said Dwight.
They said other side effects included high blood pressure and acid reflux.
“I was headed straight for diabetes. Everybody in my family is a diabetic, so I’m already predispose,” said Cheryl.
Since the surgery, Cheryl and Dwight have lost a combined 190 pounds.
“The difference in my life, in our lives is just so amazing,” said Cheryl.
That weight loss from the surgery has allowed them to become more physically active.
“We went to the Bahamas this past November. I snorkeled all day long and didn’t get tired,” said Cheryl. “I do stairs at work now all the time.”
Cheryl said before the surgery she stayed tired all the time and was too exhausted after working all day to exercise. Both say their only regret is they didn’t have the surgery sooner.
“People think you’re just lazy, you’re not exercising, and you’re not dieting, which is a total misconception,” said Dwight.
According to Lisa Griffin, the Brookwood Bariatric Surgery Manager, the best candidate for gastric bypass surgery is someone who has been at least 100 pounds overweight for five years. She said most have tried dieting and exercise but have failed.
“With bariatric surgery, you have a 70 percent chance of success,” said Griffin.
As far as the risks from the surgery, Griffin said you have less than a one percent chance of having a complication. She does point out that it is still surgery, and you will face the risks that go along with being put under anesthesia.