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The Woman in the Mirror

Posted on March 29, 2017 in Bariatrics

Tiara-Lady Wilson is an energetic woman with an infectious laugh and a positive attitude. It’s the same attitude that has helped her succeed in life, even winning the title of Miss Tennessee State University in 1998.
     It’s also the attitude that has sustained her through years of medical problems that caused her to gain 100 pounds.
     Wilson began taking medications for pain and weakness from musculoskeletal issues and after being diagnosed as bipolar when she was in graduate school. Later she was diagnosed with gestational diabetes during both of her pregnancies, but her blood sugar went back to normal until she was prescribed steroids for some fresh issues with pain. Steroids raised her blood sugar level, and diabetes reared its ugly head. Additional thyroid problems made a perfect storm for significant weight gain.
     “The weight just ballooned, and I watched my body literally morph in front of me,” Wilson says. In October 2013 she stepped on the scale and weighed 313 pounds. She was mortified.
     “I was miserable, and when I looked in the mirror I wasn’t seeing who I knew God created me to be,” Wilson says.
     Wilson began taking better care of herself, and when she decided to attend a weight loss seminar and heard from bariatric surgeon Jonathan Ray, MD, she had a great feeling about it. Wilson learned the procedure was less expensive than she had previously thought, and the bonus was that the surgery would be performed at Fort Sanders Regional.
     “I trust Covenant Health, and it made me comfortable that I was going to be at a hospital that I trust,’ Wilson says, “and that they had partnered with doctors who would be of the same standard as the doctors I was used to in the Covenant system.”
     After surgery, Wilson has lost more than 100 pounds and is living life and spreading positivity. Wilson has been commissioned as a Stephen Minister at Fort Sanders Regional, providing spiritual care to patients, families and staff at the hospital where she was born, where she was once an employee, and where she had the surgery that changed her life. She’s also created a video blog to share her experiences, and encourage women to be their best and happiest.
     “For me, this was such a blessing,” Wilson says. “I thank God for Dr. Ray because he gave me the opportunity to live again.”
     To learn more about bariatric surgery at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center visit fsregional.com/bariatrics or call (865) 331-BAR1 (2271).