For years, Fran and Dave Thompson felt as though they weren’t really living.
The Hudson, NH, couple struggled with their weight. They say the excess baggage held them back, preventing them from enjoying life, and often getting in the way of simple tasks such as tying shoes or walking short distances.
Then, on Labor Day weekend 2009, Fran had an epiphany. While attending a family reunion, she looked around and saw relatives who could barely take care of themselves due to their weight and health issues. Fran decided then and there that she needed to make dramatic changes, or someday soon, that would be her.
After a good deal of research, soul searching, and therapy, Fran decided to have weight loss surgery. “I said, ‘I’m not living now.’ So I told my therapist, ‘I’m doing it,” she says. At that time, Fran weighed 288 pounds.
While researching various surgical weight loss options, Fran learned that Lahey Clinic offered several weight loss procedures. Because both she and Dave had previously received quality care at Lahey, she decided to have her laparoscopic adjustable gastric band, or Lap-Band, surgery there.
In December 2009, Fran had Lap-Band surgery at Lahey Clinic Medical Center in Burlington. At 323 pounds, deciding he wanted to take the weight loss journey along with his wife, Dave had the same procedure just two months later. "It wasn’t that I didn’t want to get left behind; it was more that I wanted to go through this with her to stay connected and stay on the same page,” he says. Today, both Dave and Fran have each lost more than 100 pounds.
The couple’s shared success has given them a new outlook on life. Fran says she feels as though she has been given a fullfledged do-over. “My energy is better, my head is in a better place… I feel as though I matter,” she says. “I feel better than I have in my whole life.”
Now, the couple are doing things they never even dreamed of. They're both active, have gone zip-lining, and enjoy mountain biking. Both credit Lahey Clinic with helping them change their lives and giving them a newfound ability to live life to its fullest.
“It’s a great feeling really to have life back, because I didn’t have it before,” Dave says. “I want to thank Lahey. I just want to thank all the providers who helped make this possible for me.”
In January 2011, Lahey Clinic added a new medical weight loss service to complement the existing surgical weight loss program, creating a comprehensive Medical and Surgical Weight Loss Center. In addition to the bariatric surgery options available, the expanded medical service offers patients a full range of nonsurgical weight loss options, including a physician-monitored weight loss program, behavior modification programs, medications and supplements, dietary and nutritional counseling, and ongoing support.
Lahey’s Medical and Surgical Weight Loss Center offers patients a multidisciplinary team approach to their treatment. Whether a patient chooses the medical or surgical weight loss path, both programs work with specialists in nutrition, psychology and social work to provide patients with the most comprehensive weight loss experience possible, giving each patient better odds at successfully losing and maintaining their weight loss.