Susan LaMastus had always been thin and healthy.
So imagine her surprise when she started to gain weight, going from a size 2 to 18 despite exercising two hours a day and being a lifetime member of Weight Watchers.
She suspected she had diabetes given her family history, but had been told twice by her doctor that year that she didn't have the disease.
So it was with great relief when she was finally diagnosed with diabetes by University of Kansas Medical Center staff.
"But by then I was in a diabetic coma stage and lucky to be alive," LaMastus said. "My diabetes was way out of control."
About that time LaMastus saw a television commercial featuring St. Francis Health Center bariatric surgery program. She did her research, attended the informational seminar and decided to have bariatric surgery despite having to pay for it out-of-pocket.
"I have no regrets," LaMastus said. "I would do it again in a heartbeat."
Besides losing 83 pounds*, she no longer has diabetes, her eyesight is better and she doesn't use a C-PAP machine for sleep apnea.
"I have more energy and my outlook on life changed a whole lot," she said. "If you're seriously wanting to improve your health, do it [the surgery]."
* Results may vary from patient to patient. These results were achieved by adhering to a medically supervised diet and regular exercise program in addition to the procedure noted.