For Francis “Chip” Estenes, living his life overweight had become the unfortunate norm. However, after climbing to nearly 425 pounds and finding everyday tasks to be a challenge, the 49 year old realized he needed to take back his life - and looked to the weight loss experts at the Westchester Medical Center Health Network for help.
“I struggled with my weight for most of my life. I tried programs to lose weight but would gain back even more,” he said. “Weight was hindering my lifestyle and affecting my health. My joints ached, and I had chronic back problems and fatty liver disease. I saw myself going to 500 pounds easily.”
Following his doctor’s recommendation, Estenes called Bon Secours Community Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) in Port Jervis, and after soul searching, prayer and research had a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, in September 2016. Seven months later, he ran his first of many 5K races that would follow.
“Before, I was always on the sidelines, cheering and thinking, 'I want to be one of those runners.' Crossing the finish line brings feelings of joy, achievement and accomplishment,” said Estenes, who lives in Port Jervis with his wife, Kelley, and their rescue dog, Sally.
“Surgery is really a small part of the process. It’s not what makes a patient lose weight; it’s the tool with which patients can modify behavior and diet to achieve weight loss,” said Estenes’ surgeon, Dr. Peter Kwon.
Estenes’ surgery — one of more than 600 bariatric surgeries the team at the Surgical Weight Loss Institute performs annually at Bon Secours Community Hospital and Good Samaritan Hospital, both members of WMCHealth — was performed at Bon Secours Community Hospital.
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