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"Weight loss treatment means I can live life to the max"

24 Apr 2023

Contracting Covid became the catalyst for Chrissy to take action and undego a gastric bypass to turn her mental and physical health around. This is her story.

It was at my appointment with Mr Jenkinson, a consultant surgeon at The London Clinic who specialises in weight loss surgery, that I finally felt heard and understood. 

I’ve struggled with my weight for years but it was contracting Covid that made me take stock of my situation. The virus made breathing more difficult than ever and I’d wake up several times a night gasping for air. My lungs are particularly vulnerable to infection as a result of the blast related thermal injury I sustained when I was a train passenger in the 7/7 London terrorist attacks back in 2005.

After hearing me sleep, my mother suspected I had sleep apnoea – which can cause weight gain - and she insisted that I get tested. The results were shocking. The data from two nights of monitoring showed I was waking up to 40 times an hour.

Chrissy on holiday two months before her gastric bypass treatment
Chrissy on holiday two months before she had a gastric bypass at the Clinic

Keep calm, and keep carrying on and on
I am the mother of nine-year-old twins, one son and one daughter who were born prematurely at 24 weeks. Like most mothers their health and care are my first priority especially as they have special needs.  Since their birth I’ve battled through zombie-like fatigue, high blood pressure and chronic stress. I also have an underactive thyroid and Hashimoto’s disease which add to my weight gain and exhaustion.

Now I had to accept the stark truth that it was my health that was at grave risk. Sleep apnoea can cause a number of serious health issues. Constantly waking up throughout the night can also result in accidents and I was ordered to stop driving with immediate effect.   

Going on a strict calorie deficient diet as advised wasn’t the answer, I need all the energy I can get to look after my children, and so I was referred to Mr Jenkinson who recommended a gastric bypass procedure for maximum effect. After a discussion with my husband later that evening I was more than ready to take a leap of faith and consent to the operation.   

It’s worth noting at this point, that I’ve always exercised. I have a Peloton bike that I use regularly and I relish eating a healthy diet of whole fruits, vegetables, grains and lean proteins. I was doing everything possible to keep my weight under control but to quote Mr Jenkinson with all those life events to contend with I was, “swimming against the tide.” 

Chrissy post procedure about 12 months later
Chrissy, feeling better after her gastric bypass just over a year later

Surgery provides life line
The whole process from the first consultation to having the gastric bypass took place in a matter of weeks. Postoperatively I felt fine and needed the minimum of pain relief.  I am very grateful that I was able to have surgical intervention for weight loss at The London Clinic. It was definitely the right decision for me. The level of expertise and care are five-star gold standards.

I used to weigh approximately 93 kilograms (14 stones 5lbs) and now I weigh 63 kilograms and I’m a size 10. I am no longer in danger of sleep apnoea, I have more energy and I look well. 

Life has pushed me to the limits but instead of “swimming against the tide,” I’m in the best shape physically and mentally to be able to go with life’s flow and face its many challenges. 


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