Justin’s journey is an amazing journey of dramatic weight loss that began when he realized he needed to do something to live a healthier life. View Justin’s journey. Justin started gaining weight after his parents got divorced. He had high blood pressure and sleep apnea, and his friends and family were worried about him. The difficulty of doing the simplest things was depressing. One day, eating in a restaurant with his grandmother, Justin was taken aback by a man rudely staring at him. He knew he had to do something about his weight and, after attending a surgical weight-loss seminar, he knew this was what he wanted to do. His grandmother even offered to pay for the surgery. After eight months and 150 pounds lost, Justin can sleep through the night and doesn't want to stay in the house all day. "I've regained life," he says. "Now I just want to run and be free."
Stephanie transformed her life due to family health concerns, and health concerns she was experiencing. Learn more about Stephanie’s journey.
Angele Dos Santos
At 258 pounds, taking insulin and 12 pills a day Angele decided it was time to start a new journey. She was taking medications for diabetes, cholesterol and blood pressure before surgery. Now, at 187 pounds Angele is happy to announce she is free of all medications. “I thank you all so much, it’s been a life changing experience for me.” - Angele Dos Santos
My weight gain story started many years ago, but the story I think everyone is more interested in is how I managed to improve my life through weight loss surgery. Unlike some folks that might be reading this, I certainly could lose weight and had no good medical reason that I could not. Simply put, I ate and drank more than my body required. Consequently, I met the demise of constant bad eating habits and it began to take a toll on my overall health.
By this time in late 2019, I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, knee pain, sores in my belt area, I was pre-diabetic and just staved off stage one tongue cancer. My loving, supportive wife had already done the hard work of finding such an awesome weight loss surgical practice as part of her own weight loss story. Of course, I did what most smart men would do, I let her go first (kidding)! A few years ago, I was totally against my wife having weight loss surgery, but one consultation with Dr. Domkowski changed my mind and our lives forever. While Amanda was going through her surgical journey, I was taking mental notes at her appointments and pondered if I might be a candidate. To make the story short, I elected to have gastric sleeve surgery as recommended by Dr. Domkowski.
I managed to shake off the many comments from folks that said that I did not need the surgery and that I was not too big. These are the same folks that say to me today that they had no idea I was that big or “I never remembered you being that big!” My first-year surgical anniversary was January 8th, 2021. So far, I have lost 70 pounds and currently weigh in at 206. I did manage to lose weight following the liver shrinking diet and the prescribed diet ahead of the surgery, which gave me roughly a 10-pound head start. My fears of losing too much weight are squelched now (this thought was a result of cancer). I am four pounds away from what I called "my personal goal" and roughly 20 pounds from my medically recommended weight. I have not lost much weight since early January, maybe a couple of pounds, but my body shape seems to be changing noticeably. My weight is still redistributing.
I feel great and have physical capabilities restored that I have not been able to do in years. I only require a small amount blood pressure medication. I had a 42-inch waist and had to buy new jeans again which turned out to be 33 inches (clothes might be a problem during the first year).
Though I am grateful for Dr. Dom, I am certain these fine men would credit their incredible staff for the high-quality care that they provide to their patients at Riverside Surgical and Weight Loss Center. Shout out to all the staff for providing the required substrate that the physicians need to be successful. I want to personally thank the entire team for your participation in my weight loss journey and share with you the joy I have had ever since.
Ken was limited in his job as a corrections officer by his weight. At 334 pounds, it was difficult for him to make rounds, and he couldn't be on the response team because he wasn't able to run very far. Ken disliked being placed in positions where he wouldn't be a liability. He knew that he had to make a change to advance in his career. Ken was unable to travel because of his fear of not fitting into an airplane seat. He had once enjoyed playing basketball, but at age 25 he found himself sitting on sidelines, eating a bag of chips while watching his friends and family play. When his doctor asked him if he wanted to live past the age of 40, Ken's eyes were opened and he started looking into options. After weight-loss surgery, Ken participates in a basketball league and has traveled comfortably to Atlanta in the middle seat on the plane.
Maykeya used to love to skate. But at 221 pounds, she could no longer skate with her husband and children; the weight was too much for her knees. She loves shopping but was doing more of it online because she didn't want to be seen in public. Maykeya felt she was missing out on life. One day in her bathroom, she looked in the mirror and said, "Am I going to have to live the rest of my life like this? There has to be something better." That's when she started looking into weight-loss surgery. Researching doctors, she was thrilled to find Dr. Domkowski, who had saved her life in 2003 by operating on a burst appendix. Maykeya says that Dr. Domkowski has now saved her life twice. Since her weight-loss surgery, Maykeya's life is filled with more joy, happiness, and peace. She's more energetic in her job as a preschool teacher. "Now I'm the 'fun teacher,'" Maykeya says.
It feels good to feel good. It was definitely scary, but I took the leap and it was the best leap that I ever took. The doctors and nurses at Sebastian River Medical Center are wonderful. I just did what they told me to do. I would absolutely do it all over again if I had to. I hope to inspire someone else and I would tell them that there IS light at the end of the tunnel. - Raquel
“Wellness is life-changing. You don’t appreciate the differences until you look back and see where you have been.” -Kevin
"Three years ago, I made the best decision of my life and had gastric bypass surgery. Dr. Patrick Domkowski, his staff, and Sebastian River Medical Center all were amazing. Thank you Dr. Domkowski for giving me the tool to have a healthier life. I have lost 110 pounds and living my best life. It has not always been easy but it has ALWAYS been WORTH IT. I love my new me!!!" -Amanda S.
At my heaviest weight I was 515 pounds. I was 43 years old and losing hope. As an Army Veteran you’d think weight issues wouldn’t be an issue. However, my issues began prior to military service.
When I decided to join the Army in 1989, I was 278 pounds and 6’ 3. The Army wanted me at 231 pounds to enlist. I began a high activity low calorie regimen that helped me shed the excess weight. It was not the right way, as with most diets. During my service my weight fluctuated as most people’s weight does. My diet wasn’t the best and unfortunately running, push-ups and sit-ups, the Army idea of fitness every day, wasn’t much help. When I left the military, I lost any focus on my health and thus began the downward spiral and weight gain.
While in a bad marriage, my emotional eating got the best of me. Within a year of getting out of the Army, I put on 100 pounds. From there I would gain and lose weight with crazy programs and no focus. By 2000, I was over 350 pounds. I found a trainer who was able to help me lose one hundred pounds in six months. I was in the gym four days a week and eating a controlled diet. However, like many, once I stopped training and lost the accountability, my bad habits returned as did the weight. Soon I was back to 300 pounds. I settled into this “just being me” and life went on.
By the time 2012 rolled around I was over 400 pounds and feeling it. I was miserable. I had two sons: One was nine and one was 15. I coached youth football and my body was letting me know it was bad. Though I was morbidly obese, I had no co-morbidities that warranted me being a candidate. Dr. Domkowski called me a skinny fat person. I never smoked, no blood pressure issues or other problems. I was crushed because I could not financially afford the surgery. On the verge of giving up all together I kept eating.
In late April of 2013 I received a call from Dr. Domkowski’ s office and we figured out a way for me to have surgery. I was thrilled and scared. On May 29, 2013 at 485lbs, I went on the operating table. In God’s hands and with a blessed surgeon nearly three hours later, I woke up in recovery and it was done. The best thing to ever happen to me besides my wife and children. By September I dropped 100 pounds, I was down another 50 pounds by Christmas and an additional 80 pounds the following year hitting my lowest weight post-surgery of 255 pounds.
I’ve never regretted having the surgery and if I knew then what I know now, I would have moved Heaven and earth to do it. My weight now fluctuates based on my activity and how I eat. Staying active and eating clean is necessary. The surgery is only a tool. Used correctly with other tools and a great support system like that of Sebastian River Medical Center and Dr Domkowski’ s and his staff, it can and will change your life for the better. I’ve never experienced a better team of medical professionals than that at Sebastian River Medical Center. I’m 51 now and can’t wait to live the next 50 years thanks to Dr. D.