From big nerves to slim curves
In October 2014, Sharon Hennigan, a sterile process tech at Mercy Philadelphia Hospital, underwent a sleeve gastrectomy at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital.
At 53 years old, Sharon Hennigan weighed 380 pounds. In the back of her mind, she knew changes needed to be made in order to improve her health.
Sharon’s weight gave her high blood pressure, pain in her knees and ankles, difficulty walking, trouble sleeping, and she was on the borderline of being diabetic. For Sharon, the sleeve gastrectomy was more than a weight loss surgery—it was a way to get her life back.
Sharon remembers the exact moment she realized something had to be done.
“I was walking to the store from my apartment and I had to stop at the corner to catch my breath,” Sharon says. “Then a little old lady, who could have been my grandma, asked me if I needed help. That’s when I knew.” She laughs as she recollects this moment. “This surgery changed my life.”
She says, “I chose Mercy because I work with Dr. Ramachandra in the operating room and I know how he cares for his patients. I was very scared at first. I was nervous about how the operation would be and how bad it would hurt. I think I put it off for so long because of how afraid I was, but when I finally started looking into the program, everyone made me feel comfortable. I wasn't as scared and I'm glad I trusted them. I love the results!”
Today, Sharon, 55, weighs 220 pounds, bringing her grand total to 160 pounds lost since the surgery.
“All you have to do is follow the instructions they give you,” Sharon comments. “It’s not hard and I don’t even get tempted by greasy, unhealthy foods now.”
Sharon says the biggest benefits from her experience are having her life back and being able to move.
“My job is very mobile and now it’s easier to be on my feet,” says Sharon. “Plus, I’m a soon-to-be grandmother. With the weight loss, I can have fun and play with my new grandbaby. How often do you get this opportunity? I’m very, very grateful.”
She recommends anyone interested in improving their health through weight loss surgery to learn more about the Mercy Bariatrics program at the information sessions.