One year ago, 13-year-old Alexis Shapiro tipped the scales at over 200 pounds. Her health was at risk. So she had to undergo a type of gastric bypass surgery, according to Yahoo! Parenting.
In 2011, Alexis underwent surgery to remove a benign brain tumor. Unfortunately, that surgery caused her hormones and metabolism to go wild, resulting in her feeling constantly hungry, according to Today Health. She no longer had an “off” switch to tell her when she felt full, and she felt constantly hungry. Efforts to stop her from eating failed.
At only four-feet-seven inches, she weighed over 200 pounds, having gained 150 pounds because of her condition. And her health rapidly deteriorated because of this rare, medically-triggered obesity known as hypothalamic obesity.
Her mother Jenny indicated that their last hope was a gastric sleeve procedure that reduced the size of her stomach to a quarter of its original size and helped curb her appetite. This procedure was performed at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center a year ago, according to her mother Jenny. Watching Alexis recover from the painful surgery was difficult, but worth it, she indicated. Jenny told Yahoo! Parenting the following.
“I was just holding onto hope. This was our last resort.”
Now, a year post surgery, Alexis has lost an impressive 60 pounds so far, and the quality of her life has greatly improved. Her mother Jenny stated the following in Yahoo! Parenting.
“We’re just so excited. It’s great to see her move around better and be happier and be part of the family more–all because of her weight loss. Her life isn’t consumed by thinking about food anymore.”
The sixth-grader is no longer diabetic and has developed a sense of independence. The Cibolo, Texas teen now attends public school. According to People, Alexis has stated the following regarding the positives in her current life.
“I feel more active and more talkative. I walk laps every day.”
Unfortunately, all is not roses, as she has gained back eight to 10 pounds. Her mother states that the “hypothalamic obesity is a beast” that Alexis will have to continue to fight. Another side effect is panhypopituitarism, for which Alexis must take daily steroids and growth hormones. However, they damage her bones and make her feel ill, causing her to miss school at least once per week.
But her mother Jenny said that she is still glad that Alexis had the necessary surgery, and Alexis is enjoying attending school instead of being home-schooled. Jenny indicated the following to People.
“She does as well as she can. She tries to tough it out. She has friends in her class. Having them in her corner has helped so much….The surgery was really good for Alexis and I’m proud of her. It took a lot of hard work–a lot. And it still does. I’m baffled by how well she does, especially at her age. She’s such a tough girl.”
Despite the ongoing challenges Alexis faces, she and her mother Jenny remain hopeful. As Alexis faces life’s challenges, her mother posts her progress to Facebook. The link can be found here. She has over 13,000 “likes” and has become quite an internet sensation as people follow her admirable progress.
At the other end of the eating disorder spectrum is anorexia. As reported in an Inquisitr article, an 18-year-old anorexic girl from Essex in Britain set up a cake baking company ot help her on the road to recovery. At her lowest weight, she was a mere 70 pounds.
[Photo Courtesy Facebook]