Before having weight loss surgery, Bill Jenkins said he felt like his body was breaking down. After an annual checkup with his doctor in the summer of 2012, Bill discovered he was headed down a road of heart problems and diabetes. He noticed he couldn’t move the way he used to or be out and about without feeling drained. Bill had joined the fire service in Taylorsville, Ky., at age 18; now he realized he couldn’t keep up with the other guys anymore.
So, on Nov. 20, 2012, Bill went in for gastric bypass surgery. He weighed 371 pounds at the time; his highest weight had been 386 pounds. Today, he weighs 222 pounds, losing a total of 164 pounds in a year and a half.
Bill emphasized the importance of meeting Norton Healthcare’s requirements before having weight loss surgery.
“They are very precise in what you need to be doing — starting off with the presurgery meetings, going to evaluations, seeing the nurse, the doctor, the dietitian. They have everything in place for a reason because they want you to feel how I feel now. And if you do all those things and go to your meetings, you’re going to succeed,” Bill said.
After the surgery, Bill was determined to have a smooth and speedy recovery. He made it home in time for Thanksgiving and said he quickly had to learn new habits for his overall health.
Today, Bill has a higher goal that he said he could never reach without the weight loss: He plans to join the United States Air Force as a chaplain.
Bill also still serves with the Taylorsville-Spencer County Fire Protection District. He said he can participate in more trainings and climb ladders and on top of roofs without a problem, tasks that were difficult before his weight loss. He no longer has safety concerns about wearing the bigger gear he needed to fit him; now everything fits tightly like it’s supposed to.
Bill said the energy level he experiences now is priceless. He recommends anyone considering weight loss surgery to get more information by attending a free seminar through Norton Weight Management Services.