Stephanie Hooks. from Tolleson
I chose OCC because in the US since my insurance would not cover it, it would have cost me over $25,000. I started researching places in Mexico and it freaked my mom out, but I explained to her that this is what I had to do because I could not afford it in the US. So my mom asked her Doctor, Terry Simpson, his thoughts on me going to Mexico and he said he only could recommend one Doctor and that was Doctor Ariel Ortiz. So my mom and I researched him and I contacted OCC right away and started the process of making a change in my life for the better. I was still scared because of all the horror stories people were telling me about going to Mexico, but I also knew that if I didn't do this for myself, I was going to eventually die at a young age, either from Obesity or from suicide because I didn't love myself. I actually even changed my surgery date a few times due to my fear, but I did it! My biggest regret is not doing it sooner!
I have always battled with obesity since I was a little girl. I have always been the "fat one" in the family and in school, it got to the point that I would make fun of myself so that it didn't hurt as much when others did. But soon that was no longer enough, because it still caused me pain because I realized I didn't love myself nor like myself. The emotional pain got the best of me and so I started causing myself physical harm by cutting myself. I would rather feel physical pain than the emotional pain I was dealing with. I battled with this from about 6th grade up through high school. After high school, I decided that I wanted to be happy with myself so I started trying different ways to lose weight. I have tried slim fast, dieting, pills, HCG, phentermine, starving myself, bulimia, anorexia, you name it I tried it. But of course I would see little progress, it was like I would lose 20-30 pounds and hit a plateau which would throw me right back into my depression. My depression cause me thoughts of suicide because I started to feel like I was never going to be enough for anyone not even myself because I hated myself. I realized that surgery was my last option, and when I realized what it was going to cost me, I realized I was in a fight for my life and I had to find a way to get it done or I was going to eat myself to death or my depression was going to cause me to commit suicide. So I started looking for places in Mexico and my mom's Doctor, Terry Simpson, who did her weightloss surgery, recommended Doctor Ariel Ortiz. So I looked up OCC and started my journey to keeping myself alive. I did what I had to ensure that I had the money which required me to take out a loan. But even then I was getting scared and kept changing my dates of surgery. I finally asked myself what was I more scared of living or dying? So I stopped changing my dates and followed through with my surgery on September 16, 2016, and it was the best decision of my life. But even then, I was getting a lot of grief from people that I took the "easy way out" and started getting that feeling that I was still not enough for people, especially in the beginning when I couldn't see the difference. But then when the people who matter to me the most started recognizing the change and lifting me up, I realized that I did not do this for anyone but myself so as long as I was happy that's all that mattered. So here I am, down 115 pounds, wearing a size 8 and medium shirt, happy, blessed, and most importantly I am ALIVE and LIVING! Thank you to Doctor Ariel Ortiz and the OCC team for giving me my life back and a reason to live!