Joe Puopolo, Abington
Joe Puopolo remembers growing up as a “skinny little kid” in Quincy. But as he got into his thirties, Joe, a retired deputy sheriff now living in Abington, began to pack the pounds on. The extra weight took its toll on Joe.
“I had back and other skeletal problems and just became less active,” explained Joe. “I tried dieting and would lose 40 or 50 pounds, but I always put the weight back on until I finally tipped the scale at 325 pounds.”
After talking to a friend who lost 125 pounds through weight loss surgery, Joe did some online research and attended a free information session at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton. He liked what he heard, and underwent a gastric sleeve procedure at the hospital on September 15, 2015, a date Joe calls his “new birthday.”
“Within two weeks I was off my three blood pressure medications,” recalled Joe. “I’ve gone from 295 pounds to 208 pounds, a 46 inch waist to a 36 inch waist and a 3 or 4 extra large shirt to a large shirt size.”
“I love to cook, and I still do all the cooking in my house. I had to do this for myself, and I’m so happy I did.”
Julie Glavin, Quincy
“One day I got on the scale, and I knew it was time. I was done. I realized I had to be healthier and knew I needed help,” explained Julie Glavin, ofQuincy.
Julie recalled always being overweight and trying several different diets. She would typically lose weight, but inevitably gain it back. Julie had looked into weight loss surgery years earlier, and now knew the time was right. She underwent a gastric sleeve procedure performed by bariatric surgeon Benjamin Schneider, MD, at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton on October 14, 2014.
“The weight loss surgery team at the hospital is amazing; they become part of your family,” said Julie, who has lost 130 pounds since the surgery. “They are there to cheer you on and help you realize your new life.”
Julie has found that her sustained weight loss has led to a life she never dreamed of having. “I have so much more energy, and I’ve even started running. I’ve always wanted to be a runner, and my goal is to run the Boston Marathon,” Julie explained. “Having the surgery and losing the weight has opened so many doors. It’s given me a new outlook on life.”
Kristen Harding, Dorchester
“I was heavy pretty much my whole life,” remembered Kristin Harding, an insurance claims adjustor from Dorchester. “I tried every kind of diet. I’d lose 20 pounds, and then gain 30 back. Nothing worked, so, I asked myself: ‘What am I going to do about this?’”
Kristin talked to some friends and found out that the nearby Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton offered weight loss surgery. She had a gastric sleeve procedure performed by bariatric surgeon Benjamin Schneider, MD, at the hospital on April 21, 2015 and has lost 63 pounds since.
“Everybody at the hospital was great. They are all so caring, informative and passionate about what they do,” Kristin recalled. “They were the extra layer of support that helped me succeed.
“I am off my diabetes medication and am just happier as a person. I would tell anyone who is considering weight loss surgery to do it. Don’t wait as long as I did. It may be hard, but you’ll never regret it.”
Patricia Vasile, Holbrook
Patty Vasile was tired and frustrated. “I struggled with my weight since I was 18 or 19 years old,” recalled the Holbrook mother of three. “I tried everything - will power, Weight Watchers, Phen Phen diet pills. Nothing worked. I was getting bigger and bigger and couldn’t climb stairs or tie my shoes.”
Patty spoke to her primary care physician about weight loss surgery, and he referred her to the nationally accredited Weight Loss Surgery Program at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital – Milton (BID-Milton). There she met with the program’s team and bariatric surgeon Benjamin Schneider, MD, and began her weight loss journey.
Dr. Schneider performed a gastric sleeve procedure on Patty at BID-Milton in June, 2014. Eighteen months later Patty has lost 100 pounds and feels like a new person.
“I’m much more active now. I’m walking a lot more and my knee and back pain have gone away,” said Patty. “I don’t feel embarrassed about going out now and worrying about what people are thinking of my size.
“My advice to anyone considering weight loss surgery is to ‘just do it.’ You’ll feel better. I even referred a friend to the program.”