Nolan Ratliff was in his mid-40s with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and 24/7 oxygen to breathe. At 600 pounds, "I could barely go to the bathroom," he said.
He was on anti-depressants and stopped taking them. The moment he did, he went to his doctors where he decided that bariatric surgery was the only way to move forward if he was going to stop taking medication.
That was six years ago. "My family doctor always wanted me to go to St. Vincent Charity, but my insurance didn't cover there," he said. So his journey began elsewhere.
"I went to a doctor originally and I didn't like him. I just didn't like him. I waited another year and decided to go again. So I started the process with another doctor, but he moved out of state. Then I booked another doctor, and he left the practice. I was getting frustrated."
At that point, his wife's insurance included St. Vincent Charity and he was finally able to have the surgery. "Things are tremendous, what I can do now. I've lost 230 pounds with more to go. I was 600 pounds and now I'm down to 372," he said.
But more than that, his life has changed for the better. When asked what he can do now? "Basically everything!" He no longer requires oxygen and he no longer has diabetes, which often happens to patients with Type 2 diabetes who have bariatric surgery.
He wasn't able to work, but today he can. "I drive again," he says, choking up a bit. "My life went from one to another."