RICHMOND, Va. -- Jazmin Hooks says she's now living life to the fullest. At 29 years old, the Henrico woman is enjoying her new found health.
"I'm always active now," Hooks said. "I still look in the mirror and see a new and totally different person."
Getting to this point has been a lifelong struggle for Hooks, who once weighed 350 pounds. Her inability to run the Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10K in 2015 finally convinced Jazmin she needed help losing weight.
"Diet and exercise alone are rarely successful when we’re talking about trying to lose 100 pounds or more," Dr. Elizabeth Barrett, a bariatric surgeon with advanced surgical partners at HCA Parham Doctor’s Hospital, said. "Most of my patients [80 percent of whom are women] are concerned about not just how they look, but they’re concerned about the impact [the weight is] having on their life."
Obesity is commonly linked to a whole spectrum of diseases like diabetes and hypertension.
"There are things we don’t think of as readily, like heartburn and even several different kinds of cancer including breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and even colorectal cancer has the highest mortality and morbidity with people who are struggling with their weight," Dr. Barrett said.
Bariatric surgery is designed to help people lose weight by restricting how much they can eat through a restrictive band or sleeve placed in the stomach. There are also more invasive weight-loss procedures, like gastric bypass surgery.
"Our patients are usually in the hospital for one night and usually out of work for two weeks," Dr. Elizabeth Barrett said.
Immediately after her surgery, Jazmin said she began to see results, losing about 10 pounds a month. A year and a half after her surgery, she made the personal decision to have plastic surgery to remove excess skin caused by weight loss.
"Sometimes I recognize that person [in the mirror], but you look at yourself and are like ‘is that me?’" Hooks said. "My face doesn’t look the same. Of course my body is completely changed, so it’s like getting to know who this new person is. It’s a blessing. I thank God for it everyday."
Dr. Barrett is holding a seminar called “New Year, New you,” where she will teach about the latest advancements in nutrition and weight loss treatment options. The education event will be held on Wednesday, January 23 from 5:30-6:30 at HCA Parham Doctor’s Hospital. Click here for more information.
Working For Your Health is a partnership with HCA Healthcare. Serving the greater Richmond area, Chippenham, Henrico Doctors’, Johnston-Willis, Parham Doctors’, and Retreat Doctors’ Hospital are part of HCA Virginia. Watch for Working For Your Health reports Tuesdays on CBS 6 News at 7 p.m.