A little too much

Nancy and her husband had a good marriage. The only threat to their happiness was a health issue: Nancy’s husband was technically obese and not only wanted, but urgently needed, to lose weight.

After doing some research he learned about gastric bypass surgery, in which doctors reduce the size of the patient’s stomach. He was anxious to undergo the procedure and believed that it would help him adopt a healthier lifestyle and radically improve his life.

But it didn’t go at all as they expected.

You can actually watch the surgery on video here

During the operation the surgeons saw a blood clot forming that could cause a pulmonary embolism. This is unfortunately one of the surgery’s risks. Instead of the situation improving though, it got worse: he went into septic shock. Nancy stayed by his side but within a week her worst fears came true. Her husband died.

In the space of a few days everything changed and she wasn’t ready for it.

Without her husband, Nancy felt that life was incomplete. As many people do, she ate to try to fill the hole in her heart with food. Soon she had gained almost 70 lbs. But at the same time she reflected on her husband’s last wish: to lose weight and live a healthier life. It would break his heart to see her like this.

That thought motivated Nancy to get a better hold on her diet. Because it was associated with such deep feelings, it was a very hard road ahead. But she stayed with it and managed to lose nearly all the weight she had gained since his death.

Now though, she had a new problem, also familiar to anyone who’s lost a lot of weight. She had excessive skin which made dressing well and moving comfortably terribly difficult. She now made the decision to undergo a skin reduction surgery, so she reached out to find the right doctor.

When she finally met Dr. Anthony Youn, he noticed that infections were developing between rolls of skin.

She knew that the surgery would involve some of the same risks her husband had faced, but she gathered her courage. She had to take this last step. Because of the large amount of weight she’d lost, a huge amount of skin had to be removed — ten times more than usual for these surgeries.

Dr. Youn was apprehensive but ultimately agreed to perform the procedure.

They set a date. Nancy prepared herself. Her beloved husband had been denied his fresh start, but she would have it for him. When the day arrived, Dr. Youn spent many hours performing the grueling surgery and ended up removing literally 18 lbs of skin.