Meet Melinda ...

At the time of her gastric bypass surgery in April of 1995, Melinda Kersbergen — at 5'-5" — weighed 375 pounds. "I had tried numerous commercial weight loss products. They worked for the moment. But as soon as I stopped the program, I gained it all back plus more."

Kersbergen's weight problem began in childhood. As an adult, she experienced the irregularity and  loss of her menstrual periods. At one point she did not ovulate for four years and feared she could not have children.

Her surgery, performed by NEMC surgeon Scott Shikora, MD, helped her lose 175 pounds. "I had one period and found out that I was pregnant now that I was smaller," she says. On July 3, 1996, she gave birth to a son, and a year later added a daughter "My energy level is so much higher than it has ever been. I am able to walk up flights of stairs and not be totally out of breath. I can fasten seat belts around me on planes and in cars — which I couldn't do before," Kersbergen says.

"I never will forget how wonderful it felt to be able  to go into any store and buy clothes that fit me without it being a specialty store for big women. I can play with my children, get up and down off the floor with ease. This surgery has changed my life in so many wonderful ways. I would recommend this for anyone who is struggling with  weight loss," she said. "It can change your life forever!"

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