Services at Banner Gateway Medical Center  

Tamela's Story


I have struggled with my weight all of my adult life. Growing up my weight was not an issue because I was active throughout my school years. Once I became an adult I started slowly gaining weight and found that it was easier to put it on then it was to take it off. Like most people I thought that weight loss surgery was taking the easy way out so for me it was never an option. My husband had the lap band surgery and I must say that I thought he was taking the easy way out. I saw how hard he still needed to work to not only get the weight off but keep it off and my views were changed. I started to realize that weight loss surgery was not a solution but it was a tool to help people break the cycle of being obese. 

My eye -pening moment was when I realized that I could not tie my shoes without putting my leg up on something and still that was a challenge. I remember getting on the scale in my bathroom and seeing that I weighed 315 pounds and at that moment I decided that I was killing myself. That is when I decided that I need a tool to help me get healthy and that tool was weight-loss surgery. A couple of days later I was in the car driving to California with my friend and I told her that I wanted to have the surgery and that I wanted her to have it with me. We both knew that we would have more success as a team and so we made an appointment to go out and get the information necessary to make an informed decision on which surgery would be best for us. We gained so much information and knowledge during that three-hour session that we decided to go ahead and do it.  

In May of 2010 I had my first weigh in with the staff of Banner Gateway's Bariatric Center and in October I had the Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery. As of January 2012, I have lost 110 pounds and I'm glad to say I am still losing. Because of weight-loss surgery I can run around after my two-year-old and not be out of breath and I can get on an airplane and not need a seatbelt extension. I am grateful for Dr. Rob Schuster and the Banner Gateway Bariatric Family. I truly feel that because of their support I have a second chance to live my life the way that I was meant to live it. I also know that I would not have been able to go through with the surgery on my own and because my friend Angie was brave enough to take this journey with me, we are both able to live successful lives not being slaves to food.


Banner Gateway Bariatric Center
Gateway Medical Pavilion

1920 N. Higley Road
Gilbert, AZ 85234
(480) 543-2606

Support Groups and Info Sessions are held at
Banner Gateway Medical Center

1900 N. Higley Road
Gilbert, AZ 85234
(480) 543-2000
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