Transforming lives through healthy weight

Like many people living with excess weight, Terry's "wake-up call" started as a health crisis – but quickly became a personal mission that inspired him to lose over 120 pounds in the past year.

Only a few years away from retiring, Terry failed a stress test during a routine medical appointment and needed a stent. He thought: "I'll be retiring soon, but will I be able to enjoy those years. Will I even live long enough to retire?"

Terry wanted to experience the things that make him happy, like riding his motorcycle, fishing, camping and gardening. He wanted his life back. Terry had looked into weight loss surgery a few years ago, but eight knee surgeries in five years kept pushing it to the back burner.

After attending a seminar conducted by Dr. Peter Garza of the Aurora Medical Center in Summit, it renewed his motivation to make a change. "I liked him and felt comfortable with his staff. I put all my trust in Dr. Garza and there was no turning back," he said. Just like in Jacki's case, support from his family was instrumental in his decision to have bariatric surgery.

Yet, Terry is quick to point out that if you want to make a change, it has to start with you. "If you're not committed 110 percent, then it's a waste of everyone's time, including the doctor's time," he said.

Terry had bariatric surgery on April 5, 2011. Since then, he's lost more than 120 pounds. "Bariatric surgery is a tool. They educate you and give you encouragement, but the rest of it comes from you," said Terry. "Success comes with a positive attitude."

Terry is happy to give up the medications he'd taken for years. He has embraced learning about nutrition and exercise throughout his supervised weight loss journey. Most of all, he can bend over and tie his shoes again. He can get in and out of a car with ease. He celebrates these simple things each day.

Now it's spring in Wisconsin and, after a long absence, Terry can get back on his motorcycle and take a long, leisurely ride. He's earned it. "This is truly a life change," he said.

For more information about surgical and medical weight loss options at the Aurora Medical Center in Summit, please visit our website.