Meet Karen

Image of Karen before surgery Image of Karen after surgery

Before her stomach-reducing surgery (laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy) a year and a half ago, Karen couldn’t walk half a block without crippling back pain and breathlessness. Today, those limitations are ancient history. After a recent hike through steep terrain, she realized that she had climbed the equivalent of 67 flights of stairs. “I never could have done that before,” she says. “Now I can!”

Karen discovered the Providence Center for Weight Management through a flyer in her mailbox at just the right time. “By the time most of us get here, we’ve tried and failed for years,” she says. “But I can tell you from my experience: It is absolutely worth it to try again. You have always been worth the effort to do this for yourself.”

Karen is down 89 pounds so far – her lowest weight in three decades. She takes less diabetes medication, sleeps without her CPAP, and wakes up more refreshed than she can ever remember. In addition, she appreciates small changes like being able to bend over without effort, pop the gas-tank switch without having to get out of the car, and shop in regular clothing departments. “It really is life changing, in little ways, every single day,” she says. “But the biggest win has been that I’m much more willing to be out in the world. I’m not excluding myself because of my physical limitations. It’s just so much easier to move and breathe. Those ordinary abilities inch away from you, and you don’t notice them leaving, but you sure notice when you get them back.”