It takes a lot of energy to be the parent of teenagers, and that energy is harder to come by if you’re morbidly obese. When Daniel and Stacey Rorie began having trouble keeping up with their kids, they decided it was time to do something about it.
“We couldn’t do a lot of the things we wanted to do with them, anymore,” Daniel says. “Between trying to keep up with both of them, we were just worn out.” They tried a series of diets, but nothing worked. “We did low fat, we did low calorie, we did vegetable soup,” Daniel says. “Anything you can think of, we did it.”
The turning point came in the summer of 2014 when Daniel had what he calls “a heart scare.” After being rushed to a hospital at 339 pounds, he decided it was time to go to the next level. “As a last resort, I started researching surgery,” he says.
Even though she was an ER nurse, Stacy hadn’t yet become acquainted with the high standards and success rates of bariatric surgery at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center. “I needed to really spend some time in the literature, and see what was out there,” Stacey says.
Their research led them to the offices of Drs. Mark Colquitt and Jonathan Ray. “I looked around all over the country, and a lot of the weight loss surgeries were done by clinics,” Daniel says. “It was important to both of us to have the surgery at a hospital, where you could actually get in touch with the surgeons.”
Research had also told the Rories that if they wanted surgery to be successful long term, they were going to need plenty of that support. Fort Sanders Center for Bariatric Surgery offers support groups to ensure patients’ success after checking out of the hospital. “It’s more about focusing on that whole life change,” Stacey says.
Deciding that they would do it together or not at all, Daniel and Stacey Rorie each underwent a gastric sleeve procedure on the same day in 2014. Today, Daniel is 150 pounds lighter, and Stacey has lost more than 100 pounds. “It’s just a whole new world, really,” Daniel says. “I did not realize how much the weight had slowed me down.”
Stacey agrees, saying this process has made them aware of just how much morbid obesity had taken from them. “We’re now able to go out and do things that we have not been able to do in years, and we just have much more fun together,” Daniel says. “It’s definitely changed us and it’s made a huge difference in our lives.”