Bariatric Surgery Transforms Morgan’s Life

Mar 11 2024

Morgan Shank always dreamed of becoming a flight nurse. However, she found herself facing the daunting challenge of excess weight, which hindered her from pursuing her career aspirations.

“The dream of becoming a flight nurse was always there, but my weight held me back,” Morgan explains. “I knew I had to make a change.”

Despite trying various diets, Morgan struggled to find a sustainable solution. That is until she discovered bariatric surgery at Mercy Health – Toledo Weight Management Solutions and embarked on her life-changing journey.

Morgan’s story is one of resilience, courage and the unwavering pursuit of her dreams. She shares about her remarkable transformation and offers invaluable insights for those considering bariatric surgery as a pathway to a healthier life.

The decision to undergo bariatric surgery was not made lightly. Morgan vividly recalls the internal battles she faced, from grappling with self-confidence issues rooted in past experiences of bullying to confronting the emotional ties to food. Yet, fueled by her determination to realize her dreams, Morgan embraced the preparation process with unwavering resolve.

“The hardest part was facing my own insecurities and acknowledging my emotional connection to food,” she shares. “But I knew I had to do it for myself.”

The road to surgery was paved with meticulous planning, including numerous consultations with Gregory Johnston, DO, and the medical team, dietary adjustments and a psychological evaluation. Morgan candidly admits facing moments of doubt and “hanger” during the pre-operative phase, highlighting the mental and physical challenges that accompanied her journey.

“The support of Dr. Johnston and his medical team as well as my friends was crucial during the preparation phase,” Morgan recalls. “It was not easy, but I knew it was worth it.”

Following the surgery, Morgan experienced a remarkable transformation, both physically and mentally. While the recovery phase presented its own set of challenges, including nausea and the adjustment to a liquid diet, Morgan found solace in the unwavering support of her medical team.

“The nurses up on 2C were so nice, and one even made me her special broth recipe for bariatric patients,” Morgan says. “One surprising thing was that I never really felt hungry, but after about three weeks I missed chewing actual food. It is a mental game. I had to learn to adapt to a new way of eating and living.”

Post-surgery, Morgan embarked on a journey of lifestyle changes, redefining her relationship with food and exercise. Through discipline and dedication, she embraced a balanced approach to nutrition, incorporating protein-rich foods and mindful eating habits into her daily routine. Moreover, she discovered a newfound love for exercise, embracing activities like indoor cycling and Pilates as integral parts of her lifestyle.

“I learned to listen to my body and prioritize my health,” Morgan affirms. “It was not always easy, but every small step forward was a victory.”

Reflecting on her journey, Morgan acknowledges the fears and reservations she harbored before surgery yet emphasizes the importance of trust in the expertise of her medical team. She credits their guidance and support for alleviating her concerns and enabling her to navigate the journey with confidence.

“The journey was daunting, but having a supportive team by my side made all the difference,” Morgan emphasizes. “Trusting Dr. Johnston, my nurse practitioner, Sheri Desmond, and the rest of the team was key.”

The impact of bariatric surgery transcended mere physical transformation for Morgan. She is now a transport nurse and has newfound confidence as well as self-assurance!

“Through bariatric surgery, I found the courage to pursue my dreams and embrace life fully,” Morgan reflects. “It is a journey that I will forever be grateful for.”

Today, Morgan radiates joy and vitality, embodying the essence of her newfound freedom.

“Physically, I feel so much better. My joints do not hurt. I can live like a 28-year-old with the rest of her life ahead of her. I am living my best life, and it would not have been possible without bariatric surgery.”

Morgan’s journey serves as a beacon of hope for anyone facing similar struggles with obesity. Through courage, determination and the transformative power of bariatric surgery, Morgan has rewritten the narrative of her life, inspiring others to embark on their own journeys toward health and happiness.

Her advice to those considering bariatric surgery is simple yet profound: “Invest in yourself, surround yourself with support and never lose sight of your dreams. The journey may be challenging, but the rewards are immeasurable. Also, remember to drink your fluids!”

Learn more about the weight loss services we provide at Mercy Health.

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