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Abbott Northwestern Hospital

Life is better than ever

Holly Stein

While Holly Stein’s life has had the usual ups and downs, lately she’s been enjoying a series of ups. She loves her job in commercial real estate, is making a long-awaited move to a new community, and some nagging health issues have gone away.

She attributes at least some of her accomplishments to the weight loss surgery she had in December 2011.

Stein had struggled with her weight for years and made many attempts to lose weight. She even got down to 130 pounds at one point. “But that was unrealistic for me, and I couldn’t keep it off.”

Finally, she made peace with her weight. “I was good with that for a long time. But then my blood pressure and cholesterol crept up,” she said. After her adoptive mother died from diabetes complications and her adult children began to get married, she thought about the future she didn’t want to miss. “Dying of old age is one thing, but to die from something preventable …”

When she began looking into weight loss surgery, her gynecologist recommended Michael Schwartz, MD. After some online research, she took the Introduction to Weight Loss Surgery class at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. It was more than a year before she had the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedure. “I wasn’t afraid of the surgery, but I wanted to be sure that it was right for me.”

Stein was especially impressed with the support, information and advice she received from her doctor and the staff at the Abbott Northwestern Hospital’s Bariatric Center. “They are awesome people, so wanting to answer your questions and be helpful. They truly care.”

She also attends the weight loss support group regularly. “I didn’t go right away, but once I started, I was hooked. You really learn from the experiences of others.”

Stein noted that her transformation goes beyond losing weight. Her blood pressure and blood sugar are at normal levels, and she no longer has acid reflux.

“I was a confident person before. If it’s possible to be more confident, I am. I like myself more – I’m not tired, I can breathe better, and I can do more than I ever would have done before,” she added.

Now at her goal weight of 150 pounds, Stein said, “It’s the best thing I ever did for myself. I wish my mother had lived at a time when she could have done something like this. She could have seen her grandchildren grow up.”