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Bariatric Success Story: Sam Howard
Gastric sleeve surgery has this pilot soaring again
Gastric sleeve surgery supports physical and emotional health
In August 2015, an aviation medical examiner revoked Sam’s flying privileges due to his excessive BMI. He was 45 years old and weighed 367 pounds, and was told he could no longer fly. “Aviation is my life,” he says. “I was devastated. I got depressed. I was tired of aching knees, aching ankles. I couldn’t take it anymore.”
Sam attended weight loss surgery seminars in the past, but brushed them off thinking surgery would never work for him. He suffered from sleep apnea and prediabetes, and his blood pressure was climbing. His primary care doctor recommended surgery at Franciscan Center for Weight Management. “He told me if I didn’t do it, I wouldn’t be around much longer,” Sam says. “I needed to hear that straight talk.”
Haroon P. Anwar, MD, performed gastric sleeve surgery in January 2016. Sam was back to work in airfield management three weeks later. Just eight months after surgery, Sam’s BMI has gone from 55 to 33. He’s lost 135 pounds, and his health issues are gone. His wife, Kimberly, says he no longer snores. She also recently had weight loss surgery at the Center, with Troy Houseworth, MD.
How has life changed for Sam? “My confidence level has shot up dramatically,” he says. “People look me in the eye now; they’re more engaging—even family.”
Best of all? Sam’s flying privileges were reinstated in April 2016. “I was so excited. I am delighted,” he says. “I’m flying more than ever. Life is wonderful. I’m not looking back!”
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