Success Stories

July Patient of the Month
John
Lost 183 pounds
Before: 333 pounds; Now: 150 pounds


When I was younger I weighed between 120 to 130 pounds but as I got older my weight went up and up. I had tried dieting and exercise to lose the extra weight but it always came back, plus more. I liked to hunt and fish but continually found myself getting “winded” from walking and carrying my gear and I would find excuses to get out of doing yardwork. My life became a cycle of wake up, go to work, go home, fall asleep in my chair until supper, and then off to bed.  oon my health started to decline and I would fall asleep anytime I would sit down.

After some testing, I found out I had sleep apnea and needed to use a C-PAP machine. I also had high cholesterol and high blood pressure, both of which required medications. My mother and my brother died from complications of diabetes and still the wake-up call never hit. Finally the “last straw” happened when I went for tests for my heart and the x-ray showed a mass in my chest. I was scared that I wouldn’t be around to see my kids and grandkids grow up. More testing showed the mass to be a fat pad and my doctor suggested I have bariatric surgery. I attended an information meeting and after I met the doctor and the staff, I decided to have the gastric bypass.

I lost over 150 pounds that first year after my surgery and I got my life back. Now I exercise regularly, ride a bike, and play with my grandsons. I listen when my body tells me I am not eating right and even though I still occasionally battle my old habits, now I win. These days the only medications I take are vitamins. It hasn’t always been easy, but my life is healthier, happier, and more rewarding. I have been asked if I would go through surgery again. “In a heartbeat!!!”


June Patient of the Month
Kellee
Lost 152 pounds
Before: 414 pounds; Now: 262 pounds and still losing


Being overweight has always been a lifelong battle for me. I tried many different diets and weight loss programs, only to lose a few pounds then gain back even more. I couldn’t walk up a few stairs without being completely out of breath.  Shopping for clothes was always a dreadful experience in which I always found myself crying because I couldn’t find anything that fit. It’s easy to say that I was absolutely miserable and trapped inside my own body. My weight was holding me back from living my life, and I knew I needed to do something about it.

In May of 2013 I attended Covenant’s bariatric seminar and with the help of Dr. Ringley, the bariatric team, and my wonderful family, I decided to have the Sleeve Gastrectomy.  I had my surgery on September 23rd, 2013 and from that moment on my life changed.  

Since surgery I have lost 152 pounds and I’ve never felt better.  Now I choose to take the stairs instead of the elevator and I enjoy shopping for clothes.  Kickboxing, sculpt, and cardio are also a part of my daily life and I love it.  I never thought I could enjoy working out and now I’m hooked.  If I had to do the surgery over again, I would do it in a heartbeat.  It has honestly saved my life.


May Patient of the Month
Amy
Lost 120 pounds


My "Before" picture was taken six months before my weight loss surgery when was trying to find a dress to wear to my niece’s wedding.  I never wore dresses, they just did not look good on me.  I ended up wearing old dress pants from my closet to the wedding.  

The reason I pursued weight loss surgery was not just to lose weight, it was to save my life.  I had been diagnosed with Type II Diabetes and about two years ago it was out of control.  I was overweight and very, very sick.  I lived in denial about my diabetes and I did not want to deal with it, that is, until I started having panic attacks and severe anxiety.  I finally faced the fact that my body could not continue living the way I had been and I had to do something or I would die.  That’s when I happened to hear about, “the most underutilized surgery for diabetics.”  Weight loss surgery.  I spent about a year researching it before I asked my family doctor if he thought surgery would help me.  He did.  

Before I had my surgery, my A1C was a whopping 12.2 with my average sugar readings very close to 300 and that was with insulin injections.  After my Roux-en-Y (gastric bypass), on April 30, 2013 I literally left the hospital with NO insulin.  As the months went on, my A1C dropped to 10.8 then 8.1, and most recently, 5.7.  My doctor happily tells me that I no longer have diabetes.  It truly is a miracle.  The loss of 120 pounds was a bonus and has also changed my life.  However, knowing I am no longer diabetic and don’t have to worry about going blind, having my feet go numb or worse, I can live my life from a whole new perspective.  God is working through Dr. Ringley and I am so thankful for him.  


April Patient of the Month
Melody
Lost 117 pounds
Before: 250 pounds; Now: 133 pounds


Having had children, a hysterectomy, and then when my thyroid stopped functioning properly I weighed in at 250 pounds.  I couldn’t exercise for very long and I had a hard time playing with my grandson due to limited movement.  I just couldn’t keep up.  I also couldn’t walk up a flight of steps without being exhausted. I was also embarrassed about the way I looked so I tried to hide myself in my clothes.  

I tried a number of diets including Weight Watchers, the South Beach Diet, the Mediterranean Diet, and many others.  None of them had any long term effect on helping me to lose weight.  Finally after five years of struggling to lose weight my doctor suggested surgery.  At that point I had nothing to lose.  I was obese (this is still hard to say), I had high cholesterol and I was on a breathing machine for my Sleep Apnea.

I chose to have the gastric sleeve procedure and I was amazed at how fast the weight came off.  I have relearned how to eat (Thank you Rebecca, the dietician at Dr. Ringley’s office).  “You do not have to gorge yourself with food to survive” is one phrase I remember hearing her say.  I now go running on my lunch.  If I can’t get outside then I run the stairs in the building I work in.  I also go bicycling with my boys and I love Taebo.

I have lost 117 pounds, I no longer have Sleep Apnea (so I no longer need a breathing machine) and I no longer have high cholesterol.  I can play with my grandson and I don’t have to worry about not being able to keep up with him because I can.

Thank you Dr. Ringley for giving me my life back, without you and this surgery I would not be able to be the person I am today.  Sincerely and many thanks.


March Patient of the Month
Janet
Lost 164 pounds and is still losing


I've got my life back!  That's what I tell everyone since I had my Gastric Bypass surgery over a year ago. I was taking medications for High Blood Pressure, Type II Diabetes, GERD and Osteoarthritis. I also have Sleep apnea and have had two knee replacements. I'm a nurse and I knew I had to lose weight to improve my health and because I wanted to see my grandchildren grow up. I tried every diet out there, exercise, and even hypnosis. Nothing worked permanently.  I might lose 30-40 pounds but I would gain it back and more because I just couldn't stay on my "diet". I researched bariatric surgery and was hopeful but afraid of having it. My doctor even told me I was "too old" to have it done. Finally I decided to take the plunge and prove all the naysayers wrong. I HAD to do something because I couldn't do anything I really wanted to due to my weight. 

My weight was over 300 pounds when I first went to one of Dr. Ringley's seminars and for someone only 5'2" tall, that is way more than my bones and my joints could handle. Since my surgery I have lost over 160 pounds now and I am still losing although at a slower rate now.  I can do things I haven't been able to do for years. I like to walk my dogs, play with my grandchildren, and I even bought a bike to ride. My grandchildren keep saying, "We have never seen you so small". I owe everything to the encouragement and support of Dr. Ringley and his staff.  Without them I have no doubt that I would still be in the same rut I was in for over 25 years. If I can do it, anyone can do it. I am happy to say that, with the exception of my vitamins, I am medication free. This is NOT a diet, but a whole new way of life. I repeat... I’VE GOT MY LIFE BACK!!!


February Patient of the Month
Roland
Lost 120 pounds and is still losing


A couple of years after high school I was in a bad car accident that left me with constant leg and knee pain.  As the years passed I found myself slowly gaining weight.  I was constantly tired and suffered from extreme pain and discomfort.  

At 36 years old I was hospitalized for high blood pressure and I had to have a heart catheterization procedure.  I can’t tell you how many times I heard, “You’re too young” while I was in the hospital.  It was then that I decided to search for a more permanent weight loss method.  

I’ve tried many diets in the past, but after a few pounds were lost, more weight was gained.  After a few months I attended one of Covenant’s Bariatric Seminars and learned about the Gastric Sleeve procedure.  Dr. Ringley and his staff helped make the choice easy for me.  I made the choice to live healthy and to get my life back.  

Every day I wake up and look at the faces of my three daughters and I have absolutely no regrets about my decision to have the surgery.  My sleep apnea is gone, my blood pressure is normal, and my knees could not feel any better.  If I could do everything all over again, I wouldn’t have waited so long to have the bariatric procedure.

January Patient of the Month
Tiffany
Lost 60 pounds and is still losing




The reason I had surgery was to prevent health issues that run in my family such as hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease.  I was one hundred pounds overweight and wanted to avoid those issues.  Finally, after many unsuccessful attempts at diet and exercise programs, I decided to have the sleeve gastrectomy. 

The surgery and the support of family and friends has been extremely beneficial in changing my physical condition as well as my emotional and mental concept of myself.  My health has improved along with my self-esteem and energy levels and I regularly participate in and enjoy physical activity.  If asked if I would do it again, I would say ABSOLUTELY, with no hesitation.

 

Changing my diet and eating habits was not as difficult as I expected it to be.  I had made up my mind that my diet had to change so that my surgery would be successful.  Now I am enjoying life to its fullest.


December Patient of the Month
Rebecca
Lost 130 pounds


As a very social and active person I have always struggled with my weight.  Even though I enjoyed working out I did not live the healthiest lifestyle.  Not eating the healthiest and overeating was a major struggle for me.  With the frustration of working hard at the gym and not seeing any results I decided it was time to make a change for the better.  I was also a borderline Type 2 diabetic and knew my health would only continue on a downward spiral if I didn’t do something about it.  This is the point when I realized a lifestyle change needed to be made. 

I had heard many successful and unsuccessful stories about patients who had bariatric surgery.  With the support and help of friends I began researching the process and details of what each surgery consisted.  First I had to prove to myself that I could stop drinking soda every day and cut back on fast food, which was tough but I was able to do it.  Then I attended the informational session at Covenant and my mind was made up, I definitely knew I was going to have surgery but I just had to figure out which one to choose.  After doing a lot of research, and with the help of Dr. Chad Ringley and his wonderful staff, I chose to have Gastric Sleeve surgery.  I knew it wasn’t going to be easy and I would have to go through all the steps necessary to have the procedure but I was determined and I had the will power to change. 

I am very happy with my overall results from the surgery and wouldn’t change any of the decisions I have made.  It is definitely a lifestyle change and only a tool to help you along the way.  I am the happiest and healthiest I have ever been.  By losing over 130 pounds, throughout my transition, I can say that it was worth it and I am very excited for the future.

November Patient of the Month
Pam
Lost 132 pounds

Before: 291 pounds; Now: 159 pounds

 


October Patient of the Month
Rob
Lost 95 pounds


“Do something about it now before you get any older” are the words which rang in my head for a number of months after a conversation with a close relative of mine that I respect and admire greatly.  Diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and obesity were conditions I suffered from and were results of genetics and of me neglecting my own body.   “Do something about it now…” ultimately caused me to have a conversation with my family doctor and the game plan was drafted.  I needed to have a plan which was achievable and sustainable in addressing all these conditions.  For me, this course of action included a roux-en-y gastric bypass and lifestyle changes.  The price of doing nothing was too high for me.

 Leading up to the surgery I was often told “I know so and so who had that surgery and they gained all the weight back” – the surgery itself isn’t a magic bullet as it takes discipline and healthy habits to sustain the gains.  The few times I dug further into the specifics of “so and so”, I found no healthy habits, a different “weight loss” surgery procedure altogether, and the individuals they chose to hang with didn’t want them to succeed.  I have been blessed with a large number of individuals I consider to be in my corner and they have been cheering me on along the way!  I now exercise and run on a regular basis, use the stairs at work instead of the elevator, eat healthier and enjoy a life many, many pounds lighter.  All the medications associated with my (pre surgery) conditions are gone and replaced with a daily “Flintstone Chewable Vitamin” (my favorite as a kid).    

 “Would I do it all again?” is often a question asked of me and the answer is absolutely “Yes”!   Not only have I benefited from this life-changing surgery and lifestyle changes, but my immediate family has as well.  No longer does soda pop reside in our home and the days of our dinner table being garnished with literally pounds and pounds of overeating opportunities went out the door.

September Patient of the Month
Dana
Lost 150 pounds and still losing


 

My name is Dana and obesity has run in my family my whole life.  I didn't have a weight problem until it began to increase in 2009 and by 2012 I felt I needed to make some changes.  I consulted Dr. Ringley in February 2012 and after the consultation I made my decision to have some type of surgery.  During my visits with Dr. Ringley, we decided that I would have the bariatric sleeve gastrectomy.  My procedure was performed that May.  Prior to my surgery I had been diagnosed with Type II Diabetes and I used a C-PAP machine for my sleep apnea.  After I had my surgery I no longer needed the C-PAP machine and I stopped all my diabetes medications.  Unfortunately on August 20, 2012 my diabetes had returned and I was treated as a Type II Diabetic again.

The first month after surgery I lost approximately 30 lbs. and to date I have lost over 150 lbs.  Although I had continued to lose weight steadily, my diabetes became out of control.  I consulted a different endocrinologist in the fall of 2013 and learned that I had been misdiagnosed and I was actually a Type I Diabetic.  Today I feel so much better than I have in years and I continue to lose weight each month.

 I could not be more pleased with the bariatric team.  They provided me with counseling, superior medical advice and treatment, as well as support and praise.  This has been one of the best experiences of my life.

August Patient of the Month
Denise
Lost 100 pounds

Before: 240 pounds; Now: 140 pounds



My life 21 months ago was very different than my life today. I weighed 240 pounds. I had hypertension, sleep apnea, diabetes, high cholesterol, chronic back pain and a heart catheter. I was unable to walk long distances without getting short of breath.

Daily activities were a problem. I did not go out much. I was so disgusted with myself. I tried multiple times to lose weight, only to get frustrated. I gained whatever weight I had lost back, plus another 20 pounds.

This surgery was my last chance at losing the weight. I researched my options and made sure I was in the right frame of mind. I could not fail again. Dr. Wohaibi and his staff assisted me with regaining my life. It was the tool I needed to get the weight off. It was not easy, but it was needed so I could enjoy my life again.

It has been 21 months since my surgery. I have lost 100 pounds. I can walk long distances, ride my bike and most importantly, I can play with my grandchildren. I enjoy life. Going shopping is fun again.

I now eat healthy and the dietitian has helped me understand the importance of and how to eat healthy.

Everyone on staff had and has an important role in my life change and they are still there if I have any problems. It is one of the best decisions I have made.


Mindi
Lost 146 pounds

Before: 300 pounds; Now: 154 pounds

 

Dennis,
60 years old; 
 
Lost 103 pounds
Before: 345 pounds; Now: 242 pounds

“It was tough to be heavy. Before I retired, I was a police officer working in public relations. When I’d talk at schools, kids would ask me why I was so fat. I couldn’t fully participate at family events. I remember watching my grandkids kick around the soccer ball with their other grandfather and how it felt to know it was something I couldn’t do.

“I’d been a good sized person when I was young, but really started putting on weight after high school. I’d think, ‘I’ll lose it when I’m 30, when I’m 40, when I’m 50.’ I tried the Atkins diet, cabbage soup diet and once lost 50 lbs. through Weight Watchers, but gained it back and then some. I’d have short-term success, but long-term disappointment.
“My health was suffering and I was in a deep depression. I was on pain pills and heart medication. My family doctor would tell me I needed to get my weight down. I knew I couldn’t do it myself. He referred me to the Covenant Bariatric Health Center team.

“My wife and I went to Covenant’s free seminar. Afterwards, she and I talked and I made the decision to go through with the LAGB surgery."

 

Register for a seminar  |  Are you a candidate?  |   More Information
Types of Procedures  |  
Getting Started  |  Bariatric Team  |  Patient Resources