Age at surgery: 35
Surgery: Sleeve gastrectomy
Weight loss: 123 lbs.
“I couldn’t keep up with my colleagues,” John said. “They were always several paces ahead. I’d arrive for the meeting sweating and disheveled.”
John Renaldo was already having a difficult time chasing after his 3-year-old son when his wife gave birth to twins in the summer of 2016. The Port Chester, NY resident had struggled with his weight all his life. By the time the twins were born, he had ballooned to 308 pounds at 5’3”, his heaviest yet. With a toddler and two newborns to deal with while commuting to his job in New York City, John was chronically in pain, out of breath and exhausted. “I realized I had to make some changes to be there for my kids,” he said.
At 35, John had taken medications for high blood pressure since he was 26 years old and was considered pre-diabetic. He suffered with acid reflux, swollen feet and ankles, and continuous back and knee pain. Keeping up with his children was only part of his problem. An account director for a digital marketing agency in Manhattan, Renaldo often had to walk many city blocks to meet with clients. “I couldn’t keep up with my colleagues. They were always several paces ahead. I’d arrive for the meeting sweating and disheveled.”
His New Year’s resolution in 2017 was to research a solution. That’s when he discovered Greenwich Hospital had a bariatric surgery program. John recalled great experiences with the hospital when he was treated for an eye emergency, and it’s also where all three of his children were born. In April, John attended a free bariatric seminar to learn about his options and subsequently decided to proceed with weight-loss surgery.
That November, Renaldo had a sleeve gastrectomy where more than 75 percent of his stomach was surgically removed, leaving a “sleeve” that restricts the amount of food he can eat. The procedure, performed by Ashutosh Kaul, MD, director of the Greenwich Hospital bariatric surgery program, prompts significant weight loss and changes hormones related to hunger.
“Our multidisciplinary team evaluated John and felt that surgery would be a great tool to help him enhance his quality of life and significantly improve his health” said Dr. Kaul. “Greenwich Hospital is a certified bariatric surgery center by the American College of Surgeons and American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. There is a dedicated team of doctors, dietitians, physician assistants and nurses here who are passionate about helping patients and this is reflected in our outcomes which are amongst the best in the country.”
Since the surgery, Renaldo lost 123 pounds. “It changed my life in everyday ways,” he said, “I don’t go through turnstiles sideways anymore.” Besides becoming healthier and learning how to eat mindfully, he has newfound energy. Also gone is the goatee he used to wear to hide his double chin.
“People look at me differently now,” he said, noting that people often stared at him in the past because of his size. Nowadays, he walks 14 blocks from Grand Central Terminal to his office twice a day, works out at a gym, and plays with his children “without being out of breath in two minutes. I have stamina now,” he said.
In November 2018, when John celebrated the first anniversary of his surgery and his son’s fifth birthday, he took the family to a water park and was able to go down the water slides. “It was an emotional moment,” he said. “I never would have been able to do that without the surgery.”
Learn about our free weight loss surgery seminars