Baptist Health bariatric patient changes life with 113-pound weight loss

February 14, 2018

After a lifetime of weight struggles, sometimes it takes just one moment to change your life.

After a lifetime of weight struggles, sometimes it takes just one moment to change your life. That’s how it happened with Sherry Baysinger, 54, of Barlow.

She gained and lost weight most of her life, starting with a formal weight loss program at 18. “It was easy to drop 50 pounds back then,” she said.

By 20, she was on medication for high blood pressure. She married, had two children, divorced and eventually remarried. Her weight fluctuated with her life circumstances until, about a year ago, she found herself at 306 pounds.

“I never exercised. I had very high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea and acid reflux. I couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs without being extremely out of breath,” she said. 

In March 2017, she took her father to the doctor. “I dropped him off at the door and parked just a short distance away. By the time I walked to the door, I wasn’t just out of breath; I was having severe chest pain. I really thought I was having a heart attack,” she said.

In what felt like a life-or-death moment, Baysinger decided right then, “I’ve got to do something once and for all about my weight.”

She had known friends who had weight loss surgery, so she began her research with an online seminar at Baptist Health Bariatric Care and Weight Loss Management. She checked her insurance and made an appointment.

“I found out I was drinking my calories in three liters of soda a day, and not the sugar-free kind!” She weaned herself off soda, began drinking water and started exercising and cutting back on food as she began her monthly appointments to prepare for surgery. She took her husband to every appointment.

“He was afraid at first – he didn’t want something to happen to me,” she said, “but the nurse told him we should be more concerned about what would happen if I didn’t lose the weight.” 

By the time Dr. Anthony Davis performed a sleeve gastrectomy on Sept. 13, 2017, she had lost 65 pounds. She followed her pre- and post-surgery instructions carefully, experiencing no complications.

“My family took a trip to the St. Louis Zoo two weeks after my surgery, and I was able to go and keep up! Before losing weight and the surgery, I would not have even tried to go.”

Three weeks after surgery, Baysinger returned to work as an office manager at Four Rivers Behavioral Health. At her three-month checkup, she had lost another 36 pounds. Now she’s down from 306 to 193, with the goal of losing another 55 pounds.

“I feel great! I used to take the elevator every day to my office, but now I walk up the stairs. I can get in the floor to play with my grandkids, where before I was afraid I wouldn’t have been able to get up. People tell me how good I look, which just feels excellent!”

Baysinger has advice to others considering surgical weight loss: “It’s just a tool. You still have to have the will power to stay on track and eat appropriately. You will get full quickly, but you still have to eat the right stuff – protein, not junk food – and drink your water.”

After a lifetime of disappointing results, Baysinger is convinced this tool is the answer to her lifelong success. “This is only the beginning of my journey. I want to lose another 55 pounds and then maintain my weight the rest of my life. I know I can do it with this tool and, with God’s help, I can win the battle!”