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Meet Our Patients

Meet Marie Naddeo

Sleeve gastrectomy

Before surgery: 384 lbs.

15 months after surgery: 179 lbs.

“I have two birthdays. One is the day I was born. The other is the day Dr. Chopra of Jacobi did my bariatric surgery… and I began to live again.”

When Marie, aged 47, meets new patients at our Bariatric Surgery Center support groups, she gets gasps when she displays her “before” sweatpants. But the gasps quickly turn to applause. Marie is living proof of the positive changes produced by bariatric surgery. A sleeve gastrectomy helped her go from 384 lbs to 179. She is now stylishly dressed and beaming.

Along with losing 205 lbs, Marie lost her sleep apnea, her persistent exhaustion, her inability to walk around the block without a pounding heart …and regained a life that had been put on hold.

“I had basically stopped living. For three years, I hid in the house. I couldn’t fit in chairs, so I stopped going anywhere.

I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t lay on my back because I’d feel like I was being suffocated. I couldn’t clean myself in the shower, so I always felt dirty. I couldn’t walk around the corner without feeling my heart was going to pump out of my chest.

At the office, people calling for me on the phone would say, ‘Let me speak to the fat girl.’ That made me so angry. But what could I do?

Now I feel like someone put a battery in me! I walk everywhere. I had the confidence to go out and find two jobs. The people at Jacobi were beautiful – the nurses, the surgeons, everybody. They gave me so much encouragement as the weight was coming off. I’ll never forget anybody here.

Now that I have my health back, I’m going to find my happiness. I am in love with life!”

Meet James Pittman

Sleeve gastrectomy

Before surgery: 336 lbs
After surgery: 177 lbs.

“I’m the happiest and … the healthiest I’ve ever been in my life.”

“I studied fashion design in college. But I never pursued a career in fashion, the field I loved. I knew I’d have a rough time breaking in. It didn’t matter how much talent I had. I was a big fat black man….in a skinny world.

Since my bariatric surgery, I’m the happiest and probably the healthiest I’ve ever been in my life.”

Meet Ruben Perez

Sleeve gastrostomy

Before Surgery 535 lbs.

After Surgery 150 lbs.

“It’s totally different now.”

“My life used to be a nightmare. Even the most basic tasks were difficult. I had sleep apnea, high blood pressure and a rapid heartbeat. It was hard to even move. I know I was only a few months from being bedridden.”

“It’s totally different now. I go out with my friends all the time. I’m off all of my medications I needed before and instead exercising regularly. I’m even able to work now. Dr. Chopra was great; he helped me through everything and was very reassuring when I had any difficulties.”