Procedure – Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy
Location – Cancun Mexico
In December of 2010 I went to Lexington, SC to a well know bariatric center and started the process of getting more information on weight loss surgery. When I got there I stepped on the scale because it had been a few years since I was weighed. I really did not have any idea how much I had weighed until that day. When I stepped on the scale and saw that I was 428 lbs my head fell in shame. How could I weigh this much is what I kept thinking to myself. They ran a few tests and I finally got to meet with the doctor. I told him I was interested in bypass and he stated that I would be a great candidate for VSG. I went there with the intentions of getting information on having bypass and after the consult I was all for having VSG surgery. Within 2 weeks I got word that my insurance would not cover the surgery and was denied, not once but twice, not only for the VSG but also for bypass surgery.
Fast forward 9 months, frustrated, depressed and weighing more than ever, I went to my regular doctor because I was having some medical issues and did not know what was wrong with me. I was diagnosed with type two Diabetes. My blood sugar was 470 and my A1C was a 17. I had high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and I was not sure what I weighed at the time because no one had scales to weigh me. I told them my last known weight of 428lbs.
My pant size was a 64 and I was wearing 5xl and 6xl shirts, but even they were getting tight. If I had to guess I would say I was close to 450-475lbs. I had no quality of life, I was simply going through the motions of day-to-day living.
This was my wake up call to get my life back. I started eating right and walking everyday. I started watching YouTube videos on people who had VSG surgery and the process of VSG and what it entailed. I started losing weight and my Diabetes was under control with two types of medication, a high blood pressure medication and high cholesterol medication. Things were looking better but the weight came off slow. I needed something else to help me control the amount of food that I could eat. Being the fat kid my whole life I turned to food because food did not judge me. This is what led me to weight 428+ lbs.
One day while doing some research on medical tourism I came across ready4achange.com and filled out some information online. Within 24 hours I received an email. I later spoke with a Coordinator on the phone several times and she answered all my questions. I was somewhat leery about going to Mexico for surgery because I had never had any type of surgery before. The day I arrived in Cancun, Mexico I was greeted at the airport by a car service and was brought to the Westin Laguna Mar hotel, which is a 5 star resort. I’m in the Hotel business and was really impressed. The doctor called me that night to check on me and to go over a few things. He said he would see me in the morning. The morning of surgery the driver was downstairs in the lobby of the hotel ready to take me to the hospital. I filled out all necessary paper work and was taken back to get ready for surgery. The next thing I remember is waking up and them telling me that everything went well and that they would be getting me up to my room shortly. Over two days I noticed how clean and quiet the Amerimed hospital was.
I will never forget March 2, 2012. This was the day I got my life back. I am more active now then I have ever been in my life. I have lost a total of 208lbs and my weight ranges from 220-240 and I am now 2 years out from surgery. I no longer take medications for diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure. My A1C is 4.75 and I am no longer considered a diabetic. I am thankful that I got a second chance at life and this tool to help me stay on the right path to health.
Since surgery I have done a YouTube video every Friday to document my weight loss journey and to hopefully help someone just like me who is doing research on the surgery or considering going to Mexico.
I cant Thank You all enough for everything you have done for me.
Corey J. Cook