Erica J. used to weigh 339 pounds. She remembers feeling frustrated she couldn’t keep up with her kids.
“I really struggled to just take them for walks,” Erica said. “I became the parent that sat on the sidelines at birthday parties and would wave and take pictures and tell myself it was okay. But it's not.”
“I know as a mom, I needed almost permission to take care of myself,” she said.
“I had tried probably every kind of diet, every kind of new thing that came out, and I would lose weight. I would lose it — 50, 70 pounds and I'd gain it right back,” Erica said.
Her doctor encouraged her to explore the idea of weight loss surgery. That led her to the Salem Health Bariatric Surgery Center.
“I met Dr. Rajan Nair and he said something that will always stay with me. He said, ‘Your genetics, they work against you. Why not use a tool to help guide you through weight loss?’ And here I am two years later, down 162 pounds, feeling fantastic,” Erica said.
“I never thought you could feel so good. To be without pain on a daily basis — from either walking or simple activities like taking a shower — is an incredible gift,” Erica said.
She says she’s grateful for the care she received at Salem Health Bariatric Surgery Center.
“The staff there truly were like family. Had those wonderful staff people not been there to support me, I would have fallen apart,” Erica said.
Erica also discovered she surprisingly has become a role model.
“I'm seeing my family members, those around me who supported me, taking better care of themselves,” Erica said.
She ultimately hopes to inspire others to consider weight loss surgery.SHOW LESS