Timothy’s story: Bariatric surgery ‘was wonderful’

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

By: Femi Cole

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Timothy Fameree loves being outside and spending time with his grandson. But there was a time when he almost had to give that up.


Fameree, who is in his late 50s, struggled with performing his work duties and simple daily tasks like walking to the mailbox, due largely to his weight. At his peak weight, he topped the scales at more than 300 pounds.


“I would walk from my chair in my living room to a chair that I put in the garage, because that’s as far as I could get,” he says. That’s where he would sit and watch his grandson play. It also provided a rest stop for his trip to the mailbox.


“The mail was just down the driveway. I could only get to that chair. I had to rest, then I could walk to get the mail, then I had to stand by the mailbox, then I could walk back to my chair to sit down before I could get back in the house,” says Fameree, who lives in Luxemburg. “That’s what my life came to.”


When Fameree could no longer effectively do his job at Algoma Hardwoods, he sought help from an Aurora BayCare bariatric surgeon.


“I was way over 300 pounds. I worked in maintenance. I was a master machinist maintenance mechanic. I had to fix machines,” he says. All that weight made it difficult for him to crawl under machines or get inside them. “Because of the weight, my back and my knees just hurt all the time.”


A sleeve gastrectomy was recommended. During this procedure, about three-quarters of the stomach is removed. As a result, patients feel less hungry, feel satisfied sooner after eating and typically lose nearly 75 percent of their excess weight.


Choosing to have bariatric surgery was a no-brainer, Fameree says.


“Some people say it’s tough. I don’t believe it’s tough. It’s a mindset,” he says. “You have to know that you have a major problem. You have to know that there’s ways to correct it. These are not hard ways.”


Since the surgery, Fameree has made great strides on his weight-loss journey.


“They ask you where you want to be a year from now. I said I’d like to be down to 260 or 270 pounds. I was at 340 the day of the surgery,” he says.


Fameree met – and exceeded – his goal, shedding more than 100 pounds. The surgery, and a diet overhaul, contributed to his dramatic weight loss.


“I stopped drinking soda and I stopped going to get two double quarter-pound cheeseburgers,” he says.


“This morning when I stepped on the scale, I’m 235. Everything for me just was wonderful.”


For appointments with an Aurora BayCare bariatric surgeon, call 877-677-5384 or request one online.

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BayCare Clinic,, is the largest physician-owned specialty-care clinic in northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. BayCare Clinic offers expertise in more than 20 specialties, with more than 100 physicians serving in 16 area communities. BayCare Clinic is a joint partner in Aurora BayCare Medical Center, a 167-bed, full-service hospital. Follow BayCare Clinic on Facebook and Twitter.