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Charlene A. is proof positive that the buddy system works. After years of failed diets and exercise routines, she came to the realization that she couldn’t achieve long-term weight loss on her own.

“My family history worried me. I was teetering on the edge of developing diabetes and battling high blood pressure,” says Charlene. “Each annual check-up, I was faced with another diagnosis. I tried various things and stayed active, but I just kept struggling to lose weight.”

As it turned out, Bob, her manager at work, was having the same problem, so the two decided to make a pact to help the other achieve their weight loss goals. For Charlene, that was to live a healthy life free of all medications. The only question was how she would get there, since diet and exercise alone were not enough.

Charlene began extensive research on various weight loss methods and procedures, which ultimately led to her and Bob consulting with Michael Nusbaum, MD, a bariatric surgeon at Atlantic Health System’s Morristown Medical Center.

“I loved my surgeon’s attention to detail, his care and compassion for his patients,” she says of the consult. “I was ready for my journey to begin.”

Woman walking after bariatric surgery

The bariatric surgeon performed a gastric sleeve procedure, which decreases the size of the stomach, on both of the friends. Afterward, they encouraged each other every day at work to eat healthy and exercise. They even took their running shoes and workout gear with them wherever they went, so they could remain active at every opportunity. Charlene lost more than 100 pounds in the process and is now able to shop for clothes at any store of her choice.

“I feel the best I’ve ever felt, both mentally and physically,” she says. “What changed is how I look at food and my food consumption. And best of all, I’m free of all medications.”

Yes, Charlene finally achieved her goal – with a little help from a friend.

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Bariatric surgery is available at all Atlantic Health System hospitals – Chilton Medical Center, Hackettstown Medical Center, Morristown Medical Center, Newton Medical Center and Overlook Medical Center.


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