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Weight-loss patients celebrate changes

Sky Ridge alumni recognized in reception at hospital


Deborah Gentry had not worn a little black dress for years. But after losing 135 pounds in the last two years, she gladly followed her granddaughter's advice and put one on to attend a reception held at Sky Ridge Medical Center Jan. 25, to honor patients in the bariatric weight loss program.

Her attire for the evening was “spectacular,” according to her husband, Jerry Gentry.

“I had the surgery in September of 2016,” said Deborah Gentry. “I had a lot of health problems and I knew it was time to do something. Having the support of all the people in the program has been very helpful. It's been good to have people to talk to so I don't feel like I'm the only one going through some of these challenges.

“And it's great to fit into a dress like this.”

The reception, attended by nearly 100 patients, friends and family members, included a visual display of “before” and “after” pants worn by patients, stretched across the entrance to the hospital. All of the pants displayed showed an impressive decrease in size, due to various procedures offered through the program at Sky Ridge.

Five patients were chosen to receive a makeover for the evening, compliments of stylist D.J. McDermott, of Timothy D's Salon, the Men's Wearhouse at Park Meadows and JC Penney. According to McDermott, finding your new style after extreme weight loss can be challenging, but is very important.

“They are stuck in this transition phase. Nothing they wore before fits, and they want to try something that's more flattering for their new body shape,” said McDermott. “There are also issues such as hair loss that come with losing weight, so I show them what to use on their hair, and better ways to style it. The results are amazing.

McDermott also said working with the patients has been life-altering for him, and spoke honestly about his experience.

“I was, 13 years ago, one of those judgmental people out there. But I have grown so much knowing all of you,” he said.

The five makeover recipients lost a combined total of nearly 700 pounds, and each received a new look, including hairstyles, clothes, shoes and suits. Dr. Frank Chae, who runs the weight-loss program and performs the procedures, was on hand to give each recipient a bouquet and kind words.

“Thank you so much, all of you, for giving me the opportunity to serve you, and for welcoming me into your lives,” said Chae.

Since the program began in 2014, patients have shed more than 185,000 pounds.


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