Surgery Helps Assistant High School Principal Lose More Than 100 Pounds!

July 5, 2011 No Comments   

Penny Bradley had battled excess weight all her life. But when she reached a high of 254 pounds, the 5’ 3″Nelson County High School assistant principal began to fear she wouldn’t live to see her boys grow up.

It was during a trip to Disney World two years ago with her husband and two little sons that Bradley admitted obesity was ruining her life. “We went to the theme park for six days in a row,” the educator said. “We walked all that time, and I was so hot and exhausted, I didn’t know if I would make it.”

After years of yo-yo dieting, she went to a bariatric (weight-loss) seminar led by surgeon Rob Farrell, M.D., F.A.C.S, of Bardstown Bariatric & General Surgery. What she heard there gave her hope. Dr. Farrell performed her procedure at the Flaget Center for Weight Loss Surgery July 14 of 2010. Since then, the pretty green-eyed blonde has dropped 101 pounds. Bradley was touched and heartened by the amount of support Dr. Farrell and his staff gave her in the hospital, and have given her ever since, she said. “I can’t imagine a doctor being in my hospital room as many times as he was in my room,” she said. “He is so down-to-earth, and so helpful. He is what all doctors should be like – very caring.”

Since the surgery, Farrell and his staff have made themselves available to Bradley day and night. She has also taken advantage of the monthly support groups offered by his staff. In addition, “I am so grateful for the support I’ve received from my family, and from the students and staff at the high school,” the educator said. Going from size 22 pants and 2X shirts to size 10 pants and medium tops has been a bit of a shock – and a thrill – to the 45-year-old. “I can run three miles a day now,” Bradley said. “My niece had a birthday party at the skating rink, and I roller-skated with a whole party of people. I never would have done that at my heaviest weight. You don’t know how bad obesity feels until you lose 101 pounds.”

Now, at 153 pounds, she can play basketball with her boys. Before the surgery, she took blood pressure medicine. Those pills are no longer necessary. “I just wish I hadn’t waited until I was 44 to have this done,” Bradley said. “This surgery has changed my life.”

Bradley and her surgeon chose gastric bypass, which “gives you a smaller stomach,” according to Dr. Farrell. “We also bypassed a part of her intestine, which also accounts for significant weight loss. Penny has been successful because she’s been very committed to not just weight loss, but to her overall health,” her surgeon said. “She’s been very involved in our program. She’s done a great job with her food plan, and with her exercise.”

Bariatric surgery isn’t successful unless patients “make a lifelong commitment,” Dr. Farrell said. “To overcome the challenges, they have to be in it for the long haul. When you do the things you’re supposed to do, you’re successful, as Penny has been. If you’re dedicated, few surgeries can have such a profound effect on improving your life.” Bradley has demonstrated a deep commitment, the surgeon said. “Her dedication is an inspiration to others.”

Flaget Memorial Hospital, Patient Stories

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