Gastric Sleeve Surgery Helps Woman Play with Kids Again, Gain Confidence

bariatric surgery options

“Completely miserable” is how Jill described herself a few years ago. At 250 pounds, she had both hips replaced in her 30s due to severe osteoarthritis, and obesity-related diseases like high cholesterol and blood pressure.

“I almost started my journey in 2018, but I left the idea of surgery alone,” she said. “I was too nervous. I cared too much about what people would say or think. The next year a friend had bariatric surgery and honestly that gave me the courage to go all in!”

After learning about the Bariatric and Metabolic Institute (BMI) at Arkansas Heart Hospital, Jill gained the confidence to pursue surgery. And in December 2019, Dr. J.D. Fuller performed Jill’s vertical sleeve gastrectomy.

“I have lost 100 pounds and have maintained it for just over two years now,” she said. “He literally saved my life and gave me my life back – a life I never realized I was even missing out on.”


Jill found BMI doctors and staff to be “exceptional in every way.”

“The BMI experience was amazing,” she said. “The facility was awesome. The staff – from housekeeping to food service to the nurses – were all awesome and so encouraging. They were really motivating at a time when I needed it. Dr. Fuller and his team are seriously top notch!”

A DXA scan shows Jill’s body fat decreasing steadily throughout her weight loss journey.


“I can move again,” she said. “I can reach my toes in a sitting position. I can sit ‘crisscross applesauce.’”

It’s in the everyday moments Jill feels most thankful for this new life. She can keep up with her four kids and even participate in races.

“I completed two different 5k run/walk events in 2021,” she said. “Never in a million years was this something that was even remotely on my radar.”

She’s also gained confidence to wear clothes that she wants.

“I feel so confident in how I look,” she said. “I went from a size 22/24 and 3X top, to size 6/8 and medium tops,” she said. “I feel incredibly proud of my progress, and I love sharing my story with one who wants to hear it.”

Learn more about our safe and effective bariatric surgery options and watch our free online seminar to help you start your journey to healthy and long-lasting weight loss.