Just four short years ago, Laura Hughes-Stiverson and Tisha Hill were health statistics. Today, the Prescott Valley residents are living their best lives – lives that are healthier, more active and infinitely vibrant. They were an example of an epidemic ravaging Yavapai County, where morbid obesity affects one-in-four adults aged 20 or older (24.9 percent), exceeding the average obesity rate in Arizona.
It brings with it high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and other obesity-related illnesses. To help people struggling against obesity, the Bridges Center for Surgical Weight Management will hold a free doctor-led seminar to answer questions and provide information about weight-loss options in Prescott on Saturday, Sept. 29 at 10 a.m. at the Comfort Suites (2601 N. Crownpointe Drive, Prescott Valley, 86314).
For many battling obesity, and the serious life-threatening diseases it brings, surgery often becomes an option when diet and exercise alone cannot lead to weight loss. Choosing to undergo bariatric surgery is one of the most difficult decisions a patient can make; it is also tied to undeniably cathartic health benefits.
As a busy working mother and grandmother, 47-year-old Hughes-Stiverson, a licensed social worker, and 42-year-old Hill, also a busy working mother and an investigator, were no exception to this rule. Their turning point came during their annual girls’ trip in 2013 when they realized just how severely obesity had impacted their lives. After exhaustion, trouble breathing, aches and pains that resulted in a stress fracture, Hughes-Stiverson and Hill made a life changing decision to face their obesity-related health issues head-on with the help of Bridges Center for Surgical Weight Loss.
With the understanding that surgery wasn’t a magic pill, but a tool to help them battle obesity, they both had gastric sleeve surgery within the same time frame of each other, supporting and encouraging each other on their journey as they worked hard to change their lifestyle with the support of the Bridges team. As each other’s champions, they agree that the surgery has changed their lives forever and that they would not be where they are without it.
Weight loss is a gateway to improving overall health and quality of life. Open to the public, the seminar will feature Dr. Daniel Fang, FACS, and his team from Bridges Center for Surgical Weight Loss at St. Luke’s Medical Center– which has been voted No. 1 in surgical weight loss management for three consecutive years in Ranking Arizona Magazine – discussing the challenges of obesity and the critical role of bariatric surgery. The team will also take attendees through the different types of weight loss surgery procedures, support programs that are offered and address common questions about weight-loss surgery.
Hughes-Stiverson and Hill will be on hand to share her firsthand experiences of obesity, her decision to undergo the lifechanging bariatric procedure and the results she has seen. Dr. Fang will also share additional inspiring success stories of patients who have overcome seemingly insurmountable obesity and health challenges through surgical weight loss management. There will be a question and answer session, and spouses, family members and partners are encouraged to attend.
Registration is required as space is limited. To register, call the Bridges Center for Surgical Weight Loss at 602-251-8828.