Less than two years after Kim Quinn underwent a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, she knows, without a doubt, that she made the right choice.
“There has never been a single moment that I regretted the surgery,” Kim said. She has lost nearly 200 pounds and is active in ways that would have been impossible prior to the procedure and weight loss. However, her path to health was anything but easy.
“I’ve struggled with my weight since I was a kid,” Kim remembers. “I was bullied badly . . . because of my weight.” In 2009, after decades of struggle, she made a life-altering decision—but this choice she did soon regret.
In her mid-thirties and weighing over 300 pounds at 5-foot-7, she went to Mexico for what is commonly known as a Lap Band. “I went there because it was so low-priced,” Kim said. “It was a mistake.” She endured years of pain, very little weight-loss success and endless frustration because no doctors would help her—neither the surgeon in Mexico, who wouldn’t call her back, nor U.S. providers, who didn’t think they could intervene because of the complications of the previous procedure.
She recalls that one of her lowest points came in 2014, when she broke her foot. Home with two young children and weighing nearly 350 pounds, she spent a summer unable to do anything. “That was when I realized how serious my weight was, because I couldn’t use the crutches and I couldn’t get around,” Kim said.
Kim had recently moved to the Boise area. On a friend’s advice, she contacted St. Luke’s Clinic – Bariatrics and General Surgery, hoping there was something the surgeons there could do to help her. In 2016, to her immense relieve, Dr. Robert Korn and his team said yes.
“The surgery went smoothly,” Kim said. “Dr. Korn couldn’t be more fantastic.” Through her own hard work and with the support of the St. Luke’s doctors and staff, Kim has gone from a size 32 to a size 6. More importantly, she can care for, play with and walk to the park with her children; they were the main reason she continued to fight for her health.
“I want to be around for my kids . . . I want to make sure I’m here as long as I can,” Kim said.
Even though her journey, including the diet changes and exercise requirements after the surgery, required a great deal of discipline and resilience, she has learned to appreciate even the challenges. “I’ve kind of enjoyed the process of learning how to eat again,” Kim said. “It’s just kind of exciting . . . it’s like a puzzle that you have to put together every day.”
When she shares her story with others, she makes sure they know that it’s not easy. “There is no magic pill,” she tells them. “You still need to work hard to achieve what you want to achieve.” But she also shares her relief and happiness at how things, finally, turned out.