Kerri's father died from weight-related complications, and she was determined to be healthier for her children. In addition to her determination to make healthy choices, the Memorial Weight Loss & Wellness Center, including services close to home in Jacksonville, helped her lose more than 150 pounds.
Since her teenage years, Jacksonville resident Kerri Barton—who works as manager of Environmental Services at Passavant Area Hospital—struggled with her weight.
As she neared her 40th birthday, she enrolled in the surgical weight loss program at Memorial Weight Loss & Wellness Center. Several years earlier, Kerri considered bariatric surgery but ultimately decided not to go through with it. This time, she was determined to succeed.
Her father died three years earlier from weight-related cardiac and diabetes complications, and Kerri wanted to make sure she had more time to spend with her own children.
“I felt my weight was holding me back from things I wanted to do,” she said.
Help Close to Home
She found support in the team at the Weight Loss & Wellness Center, who provided the advice and accountability she needed to stay motivated.
“You know you’re not by yourself,” she said. “They’re always a phone call away.”
She underwent gastric bypass surgery Nov. 14, 2016. During her first month post-surgery, she lost 40 pounds. Her weight loss was aided by low-impact exercise such as walking and riding a stationary bike. She also followed a post-surgery nutrition plan.
She disputes the perception that bariatric surgery is an “easy” fix for weight loss, noting that it requires significant lifestyle changes and a lifelong commitment.
“All the surgery does is shrink your stomach—you still have to get up every day and make the right choices,” she said.
Kerri accessed weight-loss services through the Weight Loss & Wellness Center main campus in Springfield. But thanks to a partnership between the center and Passavant Area Hospital, Jacksonville-area patients can now access many of those services close to home.
Mind and Body
Clinical social worker Sarah Karraker is part of the multidisciplinary team that works with patients in the program. Patients also benefit from the expertise of a physical therapist, dietitian and physician.
The Weight Loss & Wellness Center “is unique in how it encompasses all four disciplines that aid in the weight-loss journey,” she said.
Physical changes are only one part of that journey. Successful weight loss also includes adapting sometimes longstanding behaviors and eating patterns. “We can help identify any emotional issues that haven’t been addressed,” Sarah said.
Since June 2016, Kerri’s lost 151 pounds. Today, she said her self-esteem is higher and she feels more outgoing.
“I did it for myself, and I definitely did it for my kids,” she said. “I can keep up with them now.”