WHY GROUP HEALTH? MEMBERS SAY IT BEST

Active Life Following Bariatric Surgery

Jim LovellFord

Member

Jim LovellfordGroup Health has affected my life and the lives of my family members from the time when our oldest daughter was born 28 years ago till now. After the birth of Rachel, circumstances forced us to leave the Group Health family until 2004, when I came under Group Health care once more as a benefit that was offered to me.

At that time, I weighed 350 pounds, was type 2 diabetic, had hypertension and acute sleep apnea, and basically couldn't walk more than a block without my back hurting and needing to rest.

I rejoined Group Health specifically for the gastric bypass procedure that was offered and covered under my Group Health plan. That surgery in October 2005 changed everything for me. I went down to 185 pounds (have since climbed to 210 but am losing again). My sleep apnea is gone, my hypertension is gone, and my diabetes is in remission.

Jim Lovellford after weight lossI have run three marathons and countless other races. I have hiked in the Sierras, the Olympics, and the Cascades. I have kayaked, done the Seattle-to-Portland and other bike treks, and have totally committed myself to an active life.

Not only was Group Health there for me then, but the organization continues to support me in my times of need. Through hernia surgery and back surgery (this is what happens sometimes when you embrace the active life), Group Health continues to be there for me and assist me in dealing with my health challenges. Throughout all of these events, Group Health has been great to work with — from Dr. Murray Rouse and his support staff at the Puyallup Medical Center to all the specialists who have shown me compassion and care. I have to travel to Puyallup and beyond from Enumclaw to receive care from Group Health, but to me the travel is well worth it.

Thanks for giving me this opportunity to share my story with you.

POSTED: February 2009

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