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A Gift from God

Teresa G.

Winnipeg, MB

Teresa had given up hope after suffering from a failed stomach stapling procedure. After 10 years she had regained all of her weight and more and at nearly 300 pounds, doctors were telling her that nothing else could be done. Then she met Dr. Ortiz at the OCC.

At nearly 300 pounds, I was desperate to live a normal life. My weight kept that from being a reality. Then after many years, I found the OCC. God has been so good to me…he led me here to finally find my health.

I would like to share my story with you. At the age of 28, I fought my insurance company and was finally approved for a stomach stapling (VBG) procedure in the U.S. As a result of that surgery, I now have a 10″ scar after recovering for 6 weeks.

I lost approximately 130 pounds in about 18 months, weighing 160 lbs., and felt really healthy. Then I noticed I did not have as much restriction as before. Over the next 10 yrs. I gained most of my weight back up to 260 lbs. I checked if there was any new surgery that could help me, but I was always told that because of the VBG there was no surgery that could be done to help me.

An overweight friend at work then told me that a couple of her neighbors had the lap band procedure and were doing really well and losing lots of weight. I went to the meeting held by Dr. Lee Grossbard and talked with him about my previous surgery, and he said that it was possible to do the lap band on me. I was so excited, because it was as if God had led me to this for my well being.

Dr. Grossbard then told me that I could go to Mexico and have the surgery done right away. He said the best surgeon in Mexico was Dr. Ariel Ortiz ® in Tijuana and that Dr. Ortiz had in fact performed lap band surgery on him. He told me that Dr. Ortiz was one of a few surgeons in the world that had already done several similar revisions such as what I needed. Dr. Ortiz was also a teaching professor in the US on how to do the lap band surgery.

I contacted Dr. Ortiz and mailed him a set of my X-rays and then a friend and I flew from Florida to San Diego. We arrived in San Diego where I was met by their driver, was taken to Dr. Ortiz’s office and there had a thorough work-up. I spoke to the nutritionist as well and had a test on my lungs.

Dr. Ortiz’s staff was wonderful during my stay. I was taken to the luxurious Hotel Lucerna that evening where we had a great dinner and the next morning Dr. Ortiz discussed with me an important issue: the fact that the most important thing was my health and that he would do the surgery, but if my health was in any danger that he would not proceed. That morning he invited me to meet many of his patients. It was so wonderful to be with all of those people who had received so much hope and their attitudes were so positive. For each of us, Dr. Ortiz and the lap band were our last hope.

I had surgery on Thursday morning, stayed overnight and was walking and drinking before the next morning. Shortly back at the hotel, I walked a little bit more but had no pain. My beginning weight was 282 and I am now down to 160 and continuing to lose.

Let me mention in connection with my surgery and results that my daughter who is 20 now also weighs 260 lbs. Dr. Ortiz will do her surgery soon. She is so young and beautiful and with the lap band as a tool she will be able to live a healthy and happy life. The week we go down for her surgery, I am also scheduled to have my first fill. We will be taking my 12 year old, my husband and mother, who is 80, as well. This will be our vacation and I want them to meet these wonderful people who have changed my life.

God has been so good to me. I know he has led me to this place for my health and now he will give my daughter a chance for a normal life. I really believe this and I am willing to put the precious life of my beautiful daughter in your hands. Thank you Dr. Ortiz, Dr. Martinez as well as all of the surgical staff that are so wonderful.