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Patient Story: Jessica Passion

DRH patient, Jessica PassionJessica Pasion spent most of her life 20 to 30 pounds over-weight. After getting engaged in 2003, she gained 150 pounds which she attributed to her habit of “happy eating.” After this dramatic weight gain Jessica’s family encouraged to seek help with her weight loss.

By 2008, Jessica decided she had thought about surgery enough and was ready to get it done. “I was tired of being uncomfortable and getting winded walking around because of my weight,” said Jessica. “After two years of weighing the pros and cons, I was ready.”

Alfonso Torquati, MD, of the Duke Center for Metabolic and Weight Loss Surgery Center performed Jessica’s Roux-en-Y gastric bypass at Durham Regional Hospital. Her surgery went well, and she was back at home after two days.

Jessica had no issues with her recovery. “I didn’t vomit or have any physical problems after the surgery; the hardest part was the psychological hurdles.” These hurdles included three weeks of an all liquid diet after surgery. “It was hard, but looking back now it was all mental, and I got through it.”

After seven months Jessica lost 100 pounds and began working out regularly. After three years, Jessica lost 163 pounds. She now participates in many activities that she previously enjoyed before gaining weight like swimming, hiking and camping. She also enjoys the little things she couldn’t do while she was at her heaviest, including taking the stairs and crossing her legs to sit down. “My only regret was not doing it sooner,” said Pasion. “I wasted two years thinking about surgery when I could have been healthy, active and enjoying life.”

In 2011, Jessica returned to Durham Regional to have her gallbladder removed because of gallstones. Dr. Torquatti once again performed her procedure. “Two weeks before my three-year check-up with the weight loss surgery clinic I passed a large gallstone,” said Pasion. “I brought the ultrasound and all the information for him to evaluate at my appointment. He did a great job with my weight loss surgery so I wanted him to remove my gallbladder as well.”

“I had two good experiences at Durham Regional Hospital,” said Pasion. “My family members have also been patients at Durham Regional. I will continue to recommend this hospital to my friends and family.”