Dawn Cloutier: My journey began in 2006 on a trip to Aruba with my girlfriends. As we boarded the airplane and took our seats, the reality of my unhealthy body hit me when I needed and embarrassingly had to ask for a seat belt extender. I did what I normally would do in an uncomfortable situation, I made light of it and joked about it when deep inside I was really quite upset and ashamed. The second reality check hit me when we went on a parasailing adventure. On the boat, they asked for our weight to determine if we would ride single or double. My response was that of an embarrassed overweight individual….I gave the weight of 50lbs lighter than I was. To my surprise, I was told "At that weight, we are unable to safely allow you to Parasail," even though I was trying to hide my true weight. Reality had HIT me. I sat in the boat with a fake smile, cheering and laughing while my friends were able to enjoy an experience of a lifetime.
When I returned from that trip, I began to look into Gastric Bypass. I attended the informational session, many support group meetings, had numerous visits with the nutritionist and a successful visit with the psychotherapist. It was not a quick or an easy process, but it took many years of neglecting myself to reach that point of obesity and I knew it would take time to get healthy. Dr. Carroll performed the surgery in April, 2008.
I've lost 166 pounds and find I am more comfortable in my body. I truly enjoy my time playing with my kids, now I can run and play ball with them, and most of all, be happy. Thank you Dr. Carroll, Linda Gervais and the entire Team.