From Parkwest Health & Lifestyles
When your weight equals a quarter of a ton, day-to-day living is a lot of work. Jonathan Ward, a 46-year-old from Cleveland, Tennessee, was constantly considering how far he could walk while enduring the pain in his knees and how much space he would need anywhere he was going.
Basic self-care required special tools. He couldn’t put his socks on without help.
Today, Ward spends less time planning his days and more time enjoying them. Ward has lost 300 pounds, the last 128 after a weight loss procedure with Dr. K. Robert Williams of New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery and the Parkwest Center for Bariatric Surgery in Knoxville. He says it was the tool that helped him finally reach his ultimate goals and make the weight loss permanent.
“It’s improved my quality of life and my ability to get out and enjoy life a thousand fold,” Ward says. “It’s amazing the difference in everything I do.”
The Moment That Changed Everything
In late summer of 2019, Ward’s father passed away following years of health problems that were made worse by extra weight. It forced Ward to take a hard look at his own health.
Stepping on the scales at his physician’s office, Ward came face-to-face with the reality that his weight had topped 500 pounds. When he expressed his desire to get serious about changing that number, his doctor was all-in, helping Ward develop a diet and exercise plan.
The pounds began to fall off, but after a while progress stalled. Logging food every day was becoming tiresome, and so was repeating the same meals.
Ward fell into old habits and his weight started to yo-yo, much the same as it had done when he had dieted so many times in the past. Depression began to settle in.
The wake-up call came when his doctor said, “You’re not going to waste all your hard work and head the other way, are you?”
Having always been open to the option of weight loss surgery, Ward decided it was time for online research to find the right person for the job.
K. Robert Williams, MD, with New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery specializes in minimally invasive general surgery procedures at Parkwest, including weight loss surgeries that have been radically changing lives for years. Ward liked what he read about Dr. Williams, especially the many positive reviews from former patients.
“I decided to go to an informational session where he laid out everything – all the procedures he does, the negatives and positives of each of them,” Ward says. “After that, I had my consultation with him.”
Together, the two decided a biliary-pancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (BPD/DS) was the right choice for Ward. Dr. Williams says BPD/DS combines a gastric bypass and a limited sleeve gastrectomy.
“It’s an operation that involves a greater change to the intestinal tract, separating food and digestive juice while also restricting how much someone can eat,” Dr. Williams explains.
The procedure was performed in July of 2020. On April 27, 2021, Ward returned to his physician’s office in Cleveland and stepped on the scales. His weight was 200.6 pounds.
“I never thought I would be able to lose all this weight,” Ward says. “I never thought I would be 200 pounds, again.”
He now plays golf, hikes in the Smoky Mountains and goes for long walks. Ward no longer carries theburden of being limited by his weight.
“I wasn’t going to be able to live much past retirement, if I made it to retirement, if I didn’t do something immediately,” Ward says. “Weight loss surgery was the tool to help me not only lose weight, but keep it off, as well.”
Aware that so many people are struggling with weight loss the way he was, Ward offers encouragement. “Don’t wait for the wake-up call, for a lost family member, and don’t give up hope,” Ward says. “If I can do it, anyone can.”
If you’re struggling to permanently lose weight, explore if bariatric surgery may be right for you by watching or attending a free informational session with Dr. K. Robert Williams and New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery. Visit our Info Sessions page to get started today!