The WLSinfo Team comprises both Moderators and Committee members and officers, all of whom give their time to the site and charity on a voluntary basis. Here's who they are:
Angela started gaining weight following a back injury and retirement in 1985.
Pregnancy and diabetes followed and her weight ballooned - at over 24 stone she sought help from her GP and was put forward for an RNY. Too long spent on the waiting list meant she was sent to The Nuffield in Leeds and Mr Simon Dexter who performed a one-stage Duodenal Switch in December 2008.
Now 14 stone lighter - she feels happier and healthier in her "new" body and has had both knees replaced since her WLS. She has also completed an Open University degree.
Although WLS isnt always easy, she has few regrets about her surgery. WLSInfo has provided a wealth of support through her DS contemporaries!!
Angela is a moderator on the site and enjoys being a Team Member
Bianca had open RNY in August 2004 with Mr Stephen Pollard at Spire Leeds hospital. Within the first twelve months Bianca had halved her body weight. The journey was not all plain sailing though, she had a DVT, open wound, incisional hernia and then overshot her weight loss and had to work hard with her surgeon to come back to a weight she felt more comfortable with. Bianca also had an abdominoplasty and breast augmentation in 2008, along with a further hernia repair. Despite the hitches, Bianca feels her weight loss journey has been well worth it and she would do it all again in a heartbeat. Seven years on Bianca works hard every day to maintain her weighloss, and loves the new lease of life that weight loss surgery has given her.
Bianca is a member of the Committee, the charities secretary and the National Support Group Manager. Bianca also enjoys assisting with sponsorship and advertising for the charity.
I had open RNY in July 2009 (aged 42) with Mr Stephen Pollard at Spire, Leeds. I lost 7 stone in the first 12 months and a further 3+ stone in the 2nd year and now working hard at maintaining my weight. My weight problem started in my teens and when i had my daughter at age 27, year by year i got heavier and heavier. In 2009 i reached 20stone 7lb and had a photo taken on a camel and could not believe my eyes when i saw the pic. Something had to be done and my fantastic GP suggested wls having tried everything else already. It is the best thing i have ever done and has given me back my life. I am now happy, healthy and so much fitter. i have achieved many personnal goals since surgery and aim to complete many more.
I have been overweight all my adult life and been to every diet club numerous times lost loads of weight but always put it right back on and with interest. I’ve taken tons of slimming drugs all of which worked until I stopped them and tried every faddy diet known to man.
At 5’ 2” and 17stone 10lbs my weight was really affecting my health. I was all aches and pains, had asthma and frequent chest infections, serious longterm depression and was on the verge of diabetes.
In March 2008 whilst I was off work with yet another chest infection and shingles I came across an article about gastric banding on the internet and without doing any research or even talking it over with my family I telephoned and made an appointment with my surgeon. Things happened really fast and within a week I was seen and booked in for surgery for April.
However, this wasn’t to be as during a pre op assessment over the telephone I told the nurse I had been taking steroids for a chest infection so the op had to be postponed till June. I still had done no research or had any advice and only my husband and children knew I was doing this and they thought I had lost the plot.
On the morning of my op I was waiting to see the anaesthatist when I overheard two other ladies talking about this site. They were really well informed and told me how great and supportive wlsinfo was. This was truly the best bit of info I have come across.
Op went fine so home I went and immediatley joined the site. Best thing ever......This is where I have found ALL my information and support. Without the site and the support group I would have undoubtably failed as truly knew nothing and had no aftercare. As it is I have lost most of my excess weight and am slimmer and fitter than I have been since I was a teenager. I run and play in the park with my grandsons, I’m not breathless anymore, my aches and pains have disappeared and I feel I have my life back.
It hasn’t all been easy and could have gone so very wrong for me seeing as I went into it blind but throught the guidance and advice of this community my wls has been a great success
Jeanette had a gastric band fitted in March 2005 at the age of 28. Although overweight in childhood, her weight seriously started increasing after leaving home and going to University. After two years' living with her band she finally reached a normal weight and, although hard work, this was the first time she had succeeded in losing and keeping off a significant amount of weight long term. She completed her transformation in September 2007 by travelling to Belgium for an abdominoplasty and breast uplift.
The gastric banding operation has lead to her doing things she would never have imagined. She travelled to Africa for volunteer work at a Lion Park near Johannesburg where she cared for lion cubs aged between a few weeks and six months old. She says "I would never have had the confidence to do this when I was overweight". She was surprised to find that she now enjoys exercise and has taken part in some 5km runs for charity and a 60 mile bike ride raising money for Christie's cancer hospital in Manchester, One of her ambitions is to complete the New York marathon which she hopes to fulfil in the next few years.
Jeanette is a member of the committee and is the site's Forum Manager.
Ken Clare (kclare)
MJ was an overweight child who grew into an overweight teenager who became an overweight adult. She had some success losing weight with various slimming organisations during her adult life but always regained what she had lost, plus interest. This was a pattern which repeated itself many times and then in 2008, she decided that enough was enough and after doing some research, she decided to have gastric band surgery to help her not only lose weight, but keep it off once and for all. MJ considered herself to be fortunate because, despite her weight and age at the time of surgery (over 50), she was fairly active and in good health but she knew she was storing up health related problems for the future and she wanted to do something about this before it was too late.
It was not always easy as MJ’s weight loss was slow but she feels the positives greatly outweigh the negatives. Apart from the obvious health benefits, there are so many things she would not have done without losing weight. The highlights have included being dressed in an outfit for her son’s wedding which she actually loved rather than just some frumpy garment that she could fit into; wearing a wet suit whilst body boarding in Cornwall and taking a Jet Ski out on her own when she was on holiday in Lanzarote – none of which MJ would have felt confident with at her previous size.
Having been obese from the time he left an unmarried mothers’ home at the age of 3 months, and failing at diet after diet, the first of which was imposed at the age of eight, Meatcruncher was topping the scales at over 200 kg with a BMI in excess of 65, suffered from severe obstructive sleep apnoea, hypertension, depression and general ill-health when he underwent an open RNY gastric bypass in 2007 at the age of 50 and was reborn. Despite post-operative complications requiring a number of further surgeries, he has never regretted having weight loss surgery; he initially dropped to 80 kg but has now regained to 120 kg, but he is still healthier, more active and happier today than he ever was in his first 50 years.
Meatcruncher is a team member and is a joint co-ordinator of the Mid-Kent support group.