Bariatric Surgery Allows Grandmother See Grandchild Graduate

Watching her grandchildren grow up seemed questionable for Barbara, who was on 14 different medications, borderline diabetic and suffered from AFIB. Bariatric surgery changed the course of her life. Read her story.

Feeling Alone

I have struggled with my weight for the past 15 years and I felt so alone. I was on 14 medications for blood pressure, acid reflux, breathing issues and sinus issues. I was also borderline diabetic, had to use a CPAP machine and had multiple ablations for atrial fibrillation (AFIB).

In 2017, I was in the hospital for an ablation for my AFIB when Dr. Monica Lo, electrophysiologist, suggested I talk to Dr. Samuel Bledsoe, bariatric and general surgeon, about my medical issues.

During my first appointment with Dr. Bledsoe, he asked me why I wanted to have bariatric surgery, and I told him I wanted more time with my six grandchildren. At the time, two of my grandchildren were entering kindergarten and I wanted to see my other graduate.

Excellent Experience

At around 288 pounds, I had gastric sleeve surgery in June 2017. Dr. Bledsoe is the only doctor I’ve had that prayed with me prior to surgery.

My overall experience at the Bariatric & Metabolic Institute at Arkansas Heart Hospital (BMI) was excellent, including my first visit, preparation schedule, surgery and hospital stay. Everyone from the check-in desk to the staff were very professional and courteous. I never felt put down as I have in the past. Everyone was so encouraging during my weight loss surgery recovery.

I especially appreciated that they explained and even helped me complete my checklist. I also enjoyed the follow-up sessions when patients shared their experiences with each other.

Achieving Her Goals

I now weigh around 163 pounds and can do anything I want to do. I feel so much better generally, and I am now on only four medications and don’t have to use the CPAP machine and my AFIB seems to be in check.

I have learned how and what to eat on the gastric sleeve diet. Before surgery I ate whatever I wanted and cleaned my plate. Now, I stop eating when I am full.

I was able to see my youngest grandchild go into kindergarten and my oldest grandson graduate from high school with honors. For all these things I will be forever grateful. Without Dr. Bledsoe, I honestly believe I wouldn’t be here today. I am so grateful for him and his staff.


At the Bariatric and Metabolic Institute, our primary focus is to help you in reaching your weight goals and regaining your health. A nationally recognized team of physicians, nurses, counselors and dietitians, we are your lifelong partners in the journey to a longer, healthier life. From insurance approvals to emotional and physical wellness, we are here for you every step of the way. Watch our free, on-demand informational seminar to start the process.

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