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Michael’s Story

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Temple bariatric surgery patient Michael — before and after his weight-loss surgery.

Michael had self-esteem issues his entire life, mainly because of his weight. As a teenager, his overeating led to a substance use disorder. “I was so uncomfortable in my skin that I had to use drugs to get the courage to go out,” Michael says.

He’s been sober for over 22 years, but he still struggled with his weight. Yo-yo dieting would see him lose well over 100 pounds and then gain it all back. At his lowest point, he weighed over 600 pounds and he landed in the hospital.

“My sugar numbers were off the charts,” he says. After a few days, “the hospital sent me home with insulin. I knew then that I needed to lose the weight. But something had to be different this time around.”

A Path Forward

That “something different” for Michael turned out to be bariatric surgery.

After attending an information session presented by Temple Health’s Bariatric Program, Michael began meeting regularly with Rohit Soans, MD, medical director of Bariatric Surgery at Temple University Hospital.

Over the course of the next year, Michael lost 160 pounds under the guidance of Dr. Soans and a Temple dietitian. At that point, he was ready for surgery.

My life was over before I met Dr. Soans. I was sitting in a chair waiting to die.

- Michael

Finally, A Life Filled with Hope

Michael has a favorite saying, “My life is to be continued.” That’s his way of saying he has hope for possibly the first time in his life.

“My life was over before I met Dr. Soans. I was sitting in a chair waiting to die,” Michael says. “Now there are possibilities all around me, none of which were even thinkable before I came to Temple. Before, I was a blob that was just existing. Now I’m alive.”

A little more than 2 1/2 years removed from his surgery, Michael weighs 264 pounds. His goal is 220. And while he’s always conscious of his progress, Michael’s weight is no longer his sole focus.

After Dr. Soans suggested he take up a hobby, Michael started flying a drone that his fiancée gave him for Christmas. His YouTube channel with drone videos now has close to 1,100 subscribers. Today, Michael also posts videos to his YouTube channel that document his weight-loss experience.

“I’ve gone from feeling grounded in life to feeling lighter every day,” he says. “I can’t be more thankful to Dr. Soans and the team at Temple. They saved my life.”

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