Deb’s Story

Deb D'Angelo - afterOn Friday May 21, 2010 the world lost a very special person. Debra D’Angelo, a nine year post op gastric bypass patient, passed away after a lengthy illness.

I became acquainted with Deb in 2001 when I performed her distal RY gastric bypass. When I first met her, she was wheelchair-bound and weighed nearly 500 pounds. Additionally, she had one leg amputated below the knee due to complications of diabetes. Because she was too heavy to bear weight on the prosthesis, she carried it around when she left the house.

Deb suffered from a multitude of other obesity-related comorbidities that required in excess of 20 medications for “control.” Included among these was diabetes-induced kidney disease, which ultimately led to her untimely passing.

Deb D'Angelo - beforeDeb was a magnificent result of RY gastric bypass. She lost more than 300 pounds and became a mainstay in our support group. She volunteered to write our monthly newsletter, which was always filled with good humor, tasty low calorie recipes and plugs for many of the vitamins and other nutritional supplements that are required for distal gastric bypass patients.

For most of the ensuing nine years, her only medications were her vitamins, since virtually all of her obesity-related diseases disappeared. Unfortunately, her underlying kidney disease eventually caught up with her. She required dialysis during her final 6 months and was on the kidney transplant list when she passed.

Upon learning of Deb’s passing, Dena Zucker, who was our Support Group leader during the time when Deb wrote the newsletter, remarked:

“She was an incredible person who never complained despite all of her health issues. She always managed to smile and joke around. She will be missed by many, many people.”

Indeed, she is.

Deb’s favorite quote was “Live each day like it’s your last; love like you’ve never been hurt.”
To me, that says it all.

Dr. Robert E. Brolin
Published with the consent of Debra’s brother, Marc Friedlander.

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