Patient Spotlight

Read our patient success stories!

Meet Tim

We are happy to introduce a very dedicated and successful patient who is just shy of ringing the 100 lb. bell not once, but TWICE!! We met Tim for his initial visit in April of 2023. He was labeled as “very motivated” on Day 1, which remains true today. It has been an honor for all of us at SAPB to be a part of his transformation. We look forward to cheering him all the way to the finish line.

Want to be inspired? In his own words, here is his story:

Where do I start? Well, I guess my story starts off like most anyone else’s.

I’ve struggled with weight all my life. I was always the big kid in the crowd and was around 260-280 pounds when I graduated from high school.  A couple of years later, I moved to Florida. That first year in Florida was brutal, now weighing in at 380lbs. The first year, I dropped down to 240 lbs. and kept it off for several years.

Later, I got into a truck driving career, driving across the country. It was great; I had traveled all over. There probably isn’t a town or city I haven’t been in. Got to see some pretty amazing things. But the downside was that it slowly took a toll on my health to the point where I struggled to walk across a parking lot. I kept telling myself it wasn’t that bad until one day, I woke up and needed to go to the hospital. When I was admitted, it was obvious that the 25 years of driving took a toll on me. It turns out I was diagnosed with A-Fib and congestive heart failure, as well as diabetes.

At that point, I tipped the scales to 554 lbs. My life as I knew it was about to change. I could no longer work and was forced into disability retirement. It’s a big adjustment, but you learn to deal with what life throws at you and move on. It took me a couple of years before a switch went off in my head, and I just got fed up with feeling horrible all the time. It took everything I had to walk to the end of the driveway to get the mail. I made up my mind that at that point, I was going to take my life back.

At the suggestion of my doctor, I started a 1,800 calorie-a-day diet on Nutrisystem. It wasn’t easy, but in the next year and a half, I got my weight down to 340 lbs. You see, it doesn’t matter how often people tell you to lose weight; until you want it bad enough for yourself, it won’t work. I was doing good, and then the COVID pandemic hit, and everything shut down. Life took a bad turn, and I went to a very dark place for about a year, and my weight went back up to 500 lbs. I finally pulled myself up and made the decision that if I was going to have any long-term success in losing this weight once and for all, I was going to need some help.

I decided that I was going to need bariatric surgery. So I started researching everything I could find because I didn’t know anyone who had it done. So after all my countless days researching and deciding, I wanted to get Rny gastric bypass. The next step was to find a bariatric doctor. I read reviews of many doctors. I decided to give Doctor Fridley a call, and I must say it was the call that changed my life.

At first, when I brought this idea up to my Primary and cardiologist, they weren’t exactly on board. They were worried that my heart wouldn’t be able to take the surgery. My primary doctor told me I needed to take care of the kidney stones I was dealing with before he would refer me. I think he thought I would change my mind about weight loss surgery, but when I make my mind up that I’m going to do something, I don’t give up. The kidney stones set me back a few months, but after they were out of the way, it was full steam ahead to have my first surgery.

In the next few months, I had several meetings with Dr. Fridley and slowly started feeling like part of the office family. You see, they are some of the most amazing and caring people you’ll ever meet. So it took 3-4 months to get all my clearance done to be approved for surgery, but the day finally came, and I was so excited I could not sleep the night before. I wasn’t nervous like some people because in the few months it took to get to this point, I had total confidence in his ability as a surgeon.

Three hours later, they were trying to wake me up in my recovery room, but all I wanted to do was sleep half the day; when I did finally wake up and get out of bed, I never got back into it. I was sore, but that was it. I spent that night walking around the hospital floor, bothering the nurses. They were the best, always ensuring I was comfortable and supplied with water and chicken broth. The next morning, my primary doctor paid me a visit, and later, Liz and Dr. Fridley came to check on me and get me ready to go home. I would say that I was sore for the next five days but not in any pain. I never had any of the gas pains people talk about. I have never had any issues meeting my fluid and protein goals.

Now, to say that the next couple of months are a learning curve would be an understatement. But I’m a quick learner. See, they tell you beforehand how to drink and eat, but you’re not really prepared for it. Would I do it all over again? In a heartbeat!! The past 9 months since surgery, my life has changed for the better. I have gone from 500 lbs to 334 lbs. and still losing. My relationship and how I look at food has completely changed.

I have a new family with everyone at Surgical Associates of Bayonet Point, now and forever. I could not say thank you enough for giving me a second chance at life and I plan to make the best of it.

Short term goal is to ring the bell for the second time at my one year anniversary and then to be under 250 lbs. by my 58th birthday so that I can go skydiving in May with Dr. Fridley. Long term goal is to lead a healthier life and share my story and hopefully inspire some people to live a healthier and better life that they deserve.

I share my story to hopefully take away any fears someone might have, don’t be afraid of change, embrace it with open arms. I’d like to close this out by saying it’s not just about the scale. It’s the non-scale victories also.

  • My blood pressure is great now without medicine.
  • I am no longer diabetic and my cholesterol numbers are great. All with no medicine. 
  • I am buying clothes off the rack
  • I am fitting in my car better
  • I can sit in a booth at a restaurant or a doctor’s waiting room chair.
  • But the biggest and best feeling non-scale victory is when a complete stranger comes up to you at the gym and tells you they noticed your weight loss and the work that you put in.

Yes, you will get out of this exactly what you put into it. I couldn’t be happier at this point in my life. You have nothing to lose but the weight, and never let anyone else’s negativity into your positivity. Don’t let life pass you by; take the steps you need to live it. If there is one piece of advice I could give anyone going into this, it is to ensure you’re in the right mindset. It is just a tool. A very good one at that, but it’s not a magic cure-all. You have to be willing to make a life-long commitment, but the rewards are endless and well worth it. Thanks to everyone at Surgical Associates of Bayonet Point. I could never express the amount of gratitude I have for each and every one of you.

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