Daniel and Marie Anderson have a second chance at a healthier life, thanks to bariatric surgery at CentraState. Today, a combined 200 pounds lighter, they can play with their two young children with ease, fit on rides with them at the amusement park, and model a healthy lifestyle.
The Burlington county couple underwent gastric sleeve surgery with Seun Sowemimo, MD, medical director of CentraState’s Bariatric Surgery Program, last year.
“It’s one of the best decisions we’ve ever made,” says Marie. “We supported each other through the surgery, and now we get to build this amazing new life together.”
“I had been overweight most of my adult life, but was able to work and play without any aches and pains,” says Daniel, 40, a sergeant in the Burlington City police force and an avid ice hockey player. “But when my scale tipped 300 pounds in the summer of 2020, I knew it was time to start making healthier choices.”
Daniel started to walk to work, but soon experienced knee pain resulting from an old injury. His orthopedist said his knee could not handle the daily stress of the four-mile commute and urged him to find another way to lose the weight.
Marie, 31, had experienced two difficult pregnancies, both of which resulted in bedrest for several weeks and a bout of postpartum depression. She gained upwards of 70 pounds.
“I tried to lose the weight myself, but nothing seemed to work,” says Marie, who was surrounded by temptation in her role as an executive pastry chef. Dr. Sowemimo came highly recommended through friends, so they were more than willing to make the hour-long commute to his office. At their first meeting, they knew it was the right decision.
“Daniel and Marie were ready to make a change and were committed to the process,” says Dr. Sowemimo, who emphasizes that surgery is just one part of the weight loss equation. “It’s about changing the quantity and quality of food you eat and adopting healthy lifestyle tools for long-term success.”
“Having a supportive partner in the process can also be a real advantage,” he adds. “We’ve seen husbands and wives, cousins and siblings go through it together, with great results.”
The Andersons began a prescribed diet and exercise regimen, and in January 2021 underwent gastric sleeve surgery one week apart at CentraState. The procedure removes 80 percent of the stomach, leaving only a small banana-shaped sac that reaches capacity on a mere four to six ounces of food. Normally, the stomach can comfortably hold about 35 to 65 ounces.
“We have a renewed energy and zest for life because of our work with Dr. Sowemimo,” adds Marie. “We are so incredibly grateful. We’re pretty sure our kids are, too.”