After more than 25 years as a flight nurse on a rescue helicopter, Mary Brownell of Bear, DE, had to retire due to back problems.
“I had back surgery, then later went to work part-time as a medical officer on cruise ships,” Brownell said. “Between the surgery and the career change, I started gaining weight.”
Brownell, at only 5 feet tall, had never weighed more than 127 pounds.
“We weren’t allowed to weigh more than 138 pounds on the helicopter, and I used to joke saying, ‘Can you imagine what I’d look like at 138 pounds?’” she said. “When I first went to Dr. (Harish) Kakkilaya I weighed 186.2 pounds.”
After trying countless diets and failing, Brownell — at the age of 71 — decided to undergo a Sleeve Gastrectomy procedure at SMC.
“I had my surgery on Sept. 14 and I’m down almost 40 pounds so far,” she said. “It’s not just the weight loss and not carrying that weight around, I have so much more energy and just a better attitude. Having the surgery has made a huge difference in my life.”
She found Dr. Kakkilaya through a Google Search, and quickly saw that his patients had good things to say about SMC’s Bariatrics program.
It was apparent from the reviews that everyone loves Dr. K, Brownell said.
After meeting him and his staff, she knew she was in experienced hands.
“The staff is so focused on not only the surgery and weight loss to medically go well, but they give so much emotional support, dietary support, and just care about you as a person,” Brownell said. “They told me I’m stuck with them for life. They will always be there to help answer questions or for support.”
Dr. Kakkilaya is currently accepting new patients. His office is located at 66 East Ave., Woodstown. For more information or a consultation, call 856-823-4288.