Sarah Ford | November 18, 2014

Maria’s Journey

From a young age, Maria had struggled with her weight. She unsuccessfully tried diet and exercise programs. By the time she was 9, she weighed 250 pounds. By 15, she was dangerously overweight and had developed pre-diabetes and high blood pressure.

“I had trouble walking up stairs. I couldn’t take a regular gym class,” Maria recalled. “Just moving around was difficult because of my size. When I was told that I would not see my 18th birthday, I decided to find a bariatric surgeon. I knew that that was the only way that was going to live.”

At 14, she worked with Evan Nadler, MD, and his interdisciplinary team. Dr. Nadler is the director of the Weight-Loss Surgery Program at Children’s National and co-director of the Obesity Institute.

“Maria’s health risks before surgery were significant,” said Dr. Nadler. “She gained a lot of weight within a few years, and was starting to suffer from shortness of breath and the inability to exercise, insulin resistance or pre-diabetes. Surgery was basically a last chance for her.”

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