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Patient Success Stories

Ashley Kimberly Is Riding High After Weight Loss Surgery

Ashley KimberlySince losing – and keeping off – more than 150 pounds Ashley Kimberly is not one to sit still. She has ridden a mechanical bull, gone four-wheeling with friends, and had piggy back rides from her fiancé. Now she’s looking forward trying new things like climbing a rock wall, riding a rollercoaster, and traveling since she can ride on a plane comfortably. Ashley is thrilled with being less than half her original weight of 306 pounds following revision gastric bypass surgery at Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital in 2011 and is ready to start planning her wedding after she graduates from nursing school.

“I had LAP-BAND surgery five years before gastric bypass and initially lost 60 pounds. But because of adjustment problems I slowly gained the weight back and more even though I was eating small portions,” recalls Kimberly, who also currently works full-time as a paramedic. “Having been overweight my whole life I didn’t want to end up with diabetes like my father. I also knew that weight loss would help symptoms of my polycystic ovarian syndrome, like insulin resistance, fertility problems and irregular cycles.”

Since losing weight Ashley has found that she can now do activities that she didn’t do before. She has gone from wearing size 26 clothes to size six, enjoys country western dancing with friends, eats sushi instead of fried foods, and sometimes plays in a recreational softball league. Ashley also feels she has more energy, and finds lifting patients and doing CPR for work is much easier.

Ashley’s weight loss success even inspired her father to undergo gastric bypass one year later. “People at the hospital were all very nice and I love my surgeon, Dr. Leiva,” adds Kimberly. “When I visited my father for his surgery, he had the same nurse care for him. But she didn’t recognize me because of my weight loss. This is my last chance to keep the weight off and I’m so glad that I can make it work.”


Randy Kimberly Follows in Daughter's Weight Loss Success Footsteps

Randy Kimberly At 316 pounds Randy Kimberly was finding it difficult to care for patients as a cardiac cath lab manager, work as a volunteer firefighter and paramedic, and do things with his grown children. He also was taking two insulin shots and one medication for diabetes a day, as well as three pills for high cholesterol, one for high blood pressure – and using a breathing machine for sleep apnea. Enough was enough. Inspired by his daughter Elizabeth’s weight loss success following her gastric bypass surgery, Randy decided to have the same procedure at Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital in October 2012.

“So far I’ve lost 94 pounds and dropped from a size 2 XL shirt and 48/50 pant to a medium shirt and 36 pant,” says Kimberly. “My goal is to get to about 180, but I’ve already noticed that I am able to do my firefighter work without having to stop and take a break. I also have more stamina than before and can do more activities in general. When my children were younger, my weight limited what I could do. There are no limitations now.”

Randy KimberlyNot only has Randy lost weight, but he also no longer needs to take as many medications. Since undergoing surgery with Dr. Jorge Leiva, bariatric and general surgeon, Randy takes only one pill a day for diabetes – no more high blood pressure, high cholesterol or sleep apnea. He attributes his success to the support of his family, friends and coworkers, and has recommended the procedure to several other people.

“Some people think having surgery is an easy way out and that you’re cheating by having the surgery. Old fashioned will power should be enough,” says Kimberly. “But undergoing the procedure is still a lot of work and you have to be careful. I have been very pleased with the care I received at the hospital, from pain management to customized dietary plans. It’s so worth it in the long run.”

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Patient testimonials reflect results achieved by these patients.  As each case must be independently evaluated and managed, actual weight loss will vary.