Memorial Hospital bariatric patients show off their new looks

Jacksonville patients share their success stories after battling obesity

JACKSONVILLE, Fla – Obesity is a disease. Most of the patients at Memorial Hospital who are struggling with obesity have tried every diet under the sun and nothing seems to work.

Surgeons say that bariatric surgery is a tool to help people succeed. 

Many of their patients come because their health is in jeopardy. Many are living with diabetes, high blood pressure, joint problems and pain.

"Having this surgery can help them get their life back on track and help them improve their quality of life," says Dr. Husain Abbas, Memorial Bariatric Surgeon.

Life has been a rollercoaster for Bill Pollackov. Before surgery, he was 465 pounds and wore size 60 pants. He had a hard time moving and was missing out on everything his kids were doing. His father died at an early age from health complications related to obesity, and he didn’t want the same thing to happen to him. 

In 2015, Pollackov had Gastric Sleeve surgery. He's lost a total of 245 pounds and has completed a half marathon and 17 Spartan obstacle course events. The surgery has changed his life, and he just loves that he's living healthy and able to keep up with his wife and kids.

Beth Wolowicz, another success story, is celebrating her transformation as well. Just a few years ago, life was miserable for her. 

"I ate large amounts of fast food, ice cream and candy and constantly felt like a couch potato," Wolowicz said.

She weighed 281 pounds, wore a size 26 and took 14 medications a day.

She wanted to get her health in order for herself and her son. In 2015, she had the gastric bypass procedure and has since lost 152 pounds. She's now a size two and is off her medications.

Abbas said the first step is coming in for an informational seminar.

"Memorial Hospital has several treatment options. It’s not a one-size-fits-all. Many of our procedures can be done robotically or laparoscopically, which makes recoveries a lot quicker than they were many years ago," Abbas said.

At a fashion show at 6 p.m. Friday at Memorial Hospital, patients will show off their new looks. It is free and open to the public. To learn more visit,

About the Author: