St. Luke's Bariatric Services

True Patient Stories

Weight Loss Surgery - Be Inspired


Deb's Success Story My weight had been a constant battle and source of discontentment in my life. I was able to lose weight many times – 50 lbs. here, 25 lbs. there, and even 80 lbs. at one point; however, it always came back. I had convinced myself that this overweight person was who I would be forever. And then one day I woke up. Our son was only a few months old and I realized that my health was putting my future with him in jeopardy. When I started to research weight loss surgery, I wanted the best and that is exactly why I went to St. Luke's. Now, I am the best version of myself that has ever existed. This year, I will teach our son to ski, something I haven't done in 10 years because of my weight. By losing more than half my weight, I've gained a second chance at life and the confidence to live it to the fullest.


Larry's Success Story I've lost 215 pounds since my surgery and I have never felt better. Within two weeks of surgery, I no longer needed my CPAP machine for sleep apnea, and today my high blood pressure and high sugar issues are gone. So much of my physical and mental resources were spent just going through daily motions. Now that I feel better physically, I find myself so much more immersed in the world around me. I am able to experience and enjoy everyday life and special moments more fully. I am a better husband, father, sibling, son. Weight loss surgery is definitely a huge commitment to changing every aspect of your life – but using the wonderful support opportunities that St. Luke's provides helps immensely. Above all, realize that you are not alone and there is always someone available to help you no matter what you need.


Lourdes' Success Story I've been obese all my life and have done every diet in the market. I had lost hope that I would ever reach a healthy weight. I started to search for information on weight loss surgery and one of my friends recommended St. Luke's. I had the normal fears and questions anyone would have, but going to support group meetings and meeting with the St. Luke's team put me at ease. Since my surgery, I'm healthy, full of energy and ready to go wherever life takes me! Today I am a comfortable size and able to go up the stairs, walk, exercise and dance without being tired or in pain. I still remember how happy I was when I was able to wear tall boots for the first time in my life. I feel better now than I did when I was 30!

Mary Ann

Maryann's Success Story My doctor recommended the surgery, as diet, exercise and medicine were not helping to control my Type 2 diabetes. I had failed to lose weight so many times, I was afraid I would fail even after the surgery. Talking to friends and the St. Luke's team helped me understand that my fears were unfounded. I'm down 170 pounds and feel amazing. It's not about the weight you lose, but rather about what you gain. You gain years. Your health. Energy. I'm no longer afraid to try new things and I'm no longer worried about what people think. I have my “sparkle” back!


St. Luke's Bariatric Services After years of yo-yo dieting I was desperate to find something to help save my life. At 25-years- old and nearly 400 pounds, I could not run or play with my 2-year-old son.  My family doctor told me I would be lucky to see my 30th birthday.  I did some research on weight loss surgery, and made the decision to go to St. Luke’s.  I felt at home and welcomed by Dr. [Leonardo] Claros and the bariatric surgery team.  After surgery, everything in my life changed.  I realized what my life was supposed to be. I learned who I am inside.  I’ve found true love, happiness and everything else I need to love myself and my life. I got my life back – for me and for my son.


St. Luke's Bariatric Services I started to struggle with my weight once I entered my teenage years. Always the heavy kid throughout high school, my weight really got out of control after the death of my father in 2003.  When I reached 275 pounds, I decided I needed to make a change.  I wanted to be the pretty girl, not just the girl with the pretty face. Dr [Maher] El Chaar and the entire team were nothing short of amazing and today I live my life completely different. I am no longer tired and uncomfortable with myself. I now love exercise and any type of outdoor activity.  Getting surgery has been the best decision I’ve made so far in my life. It takes commitment and hard work but the payoff is more than worth it.

Brooke & Sean

St. Luke's Bariatric Services We discussed surgery before, but always dismissed it thinking we “weren’t that bad.” After a couple of years of verbal ping pong, we started doing some online research and discovered the program at St. Luke’s. By going through the surgery together, we were able to support each other and adapt to our new lifestyle at the same time. Together we have lost nearly 250 pounds, and it has completely changed our lives. We now have more energy and time for our children, and the drive to actively pursue new hobbies and activities. When you’re overweight, you don’t always notice what your weight subconsciously holds you back from. There will always be apprehension in making the decision to have bariatric surgery, but we have yet to meet one person that regretted their decision.


St. Luke's Bariatric Services My journey with weight loss has been a life-long struggle.  From going on my first diet at age seven, to gaining 60 pounds during my sophomore year of college, it just seemed like no matter what I tried, it didn’t work.  I knew I needed help. I attended an Info Seminar at St. Luke’s and was impressed by the stories I heard and the compassion of the surgeons and bariatric team.  Since surgery, I have lost over 130 pounds and have gained so much.  I LOVE to run now; I can sit on the floor with my legs crossed comfortably; I can shop for “cute” clothes in regular stores; I still don’t like roller coasters, but if I wanted to go on one, I could.  If you are ready to change your life, don’t be scared or worry about what other people will think – this is about giving yourself a chance to succeed.

True, Life-Changing and Inspirational Stories

Chris & Steph

Chris and Steph Rivera are living life to the fullest. But it wasn't always that way … Having gained weight together through 13 years of marriage, they also took the weight loss surgery journey together, and together they have lost more than 300 pounds combined.


Jodi Guiducci of Easton considers herself to be a bubbly person. As she approached 300 pounds however, she felt like she was going into a cocoon. Her weight stripped her of her energy and confidence and kept her from doing the things she wanted to do, like a field trip with her son. She knew something had to give. Since weight loss surgery, she has so much energy that her family now has a tough time keeping up with her!


For Diane Rinker of Walnutport, weight loss surgery is the best decision she ever made. Diane struggled with her weight her entire life and professes to have tried just about every diet and program out there. Nothing worked for her. Then, after her children were born, she struggled to be the mom she wanted to be. Today, Diane is able to do all of the things she wants to with her children and more!


Bernadette DeJoseph of Allentown takes pride in caring for her home and traveling the globe. She also wished she could wear stylish clothes. Her weight was making it difficult to do all the things she so enjoyed. Since weight loss surgery, she has gone from a size 20 to a size 8 and can wear whatever she wants. She has accomplished a great deal at home and, best of all, she is now dreaming of excursions to far-off places!