On April 1, 2021, Sara Jennerman from Waverly had a life-changing surgery at Waverly Health Center (WHC). On the second anniversary of this special day, she reflects on her life and the decision she made to take back her health.
Growing up, Sara never struggled with her weight. When she attended college, she began to experience a slight weight gain. That weight soon fell off after enlisting in the U.S. Army. Sara stayed physically fit during her time in the Army, including a deployment to Iraq in 2004.
It was not until Sara returned home to start a family that her weight began to increase. In 2007, after the birth of her first son, Colton, Sara gained 50 pounds. Three years later, Sara gave birth to her second son, Wyatt, gaining more weight.
For years, Sara worked hard to lose the weight on her own. At one point, she lost 80 pounds with diet and exercise, only to gain it back. Suffering from depression and anxiety during this time, it became more and more difficult to tackle weight loss. "I felt like I was missing time with my children," said Sara. "As they would play in the yard, I would just sit and watch. I wanted to be active with them."
In 2020, Sara made the realization that she was heavier than her husband was. "In the back of my mind, I thought that as long as I weighed less than my husband, I was okay. One more I stepped on the scale and realized I weighed more than him. That is when I knew it was time to do something drastic."
In July of that year, Sara set up a free consultation with Dr. Matt Glascock. Dr. Glascock is a WHC surgeon who specializes in advanced laparoscopic and weight loss surgeries. Dr. Glascock and his team introduced Sara to the hospital's Healthy You Surgical Weight Loss Program.
Sara was tired of being unhappy and feeling uncomfortable in her own skin. "Surgery intrigued me," said Sara. "I was ready to do the hard work." On April 1, 2021, Sara had weight loss surgery. "Sara's diligence in following through with the schedule of preoperative testing was a complete endorsement of her willingness and desire to make the ongoing lifestyle changes that have opened the door to her renewed health," said Dr. Glascock.
After surgery, Sara continued to follow the medical guidance of her team. After six months, Sara reached her health goals. She continues to work hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
"At first, I didn't tell anyone about the surgery. Sometimes people think it is the easy way out, and it certainly is not," Sara stated. "I continue to have some days that are mentally tough, but the support I received from WHC and the surgical team is ongoing."
Sara is proud of her hard work and the decision she makes to live a healthy life. She is no longer afraid to tell her story. "Watching Sara emerge from the difficulties and challenges morbid obesity placed on every aspect of her life into a world where she is free to pursue those activities which define her life's purpose, meaningfulness and enjoyment is something every member of our program celebrates with her to the fullest," stated Dr. Glascock.
Sara now has a whole new lease on life. "I am no longer 'sad mom' with my children," she said. "I was sad most of their lives and now that I have taken my health back, I am happy, healthy and full of energy!"
For more information about WHC's Healthy You Surgical Weight Loss Program, visit WaverlyHealthCenter.org/FitAgain or call (319) 352-8033 to set up a consultation.