Latina teen gets gastric bypass & loses 120 pounds!

Inspiration comes in all different shapes and sizes. For a Hialeah, Florida, Latina teen, inspiration came when she weighed 292 pounds and couldn't walk up the stairs at her school. That's when she decided to get the same gastric bypass surgery that both of her parents had previously had. Pushed by their own successful weight loss and concern for their daughter's early symptoms of diabetes, they encouraged her to undergo the procedure three years ago.

Amanda Rodriguez, who's now 19, is finally feeling good about herself after losing 120 pounds.


Read more ¿Qué más? Why I chose gastric bypass over a lap band

I can definitely relate to Amanda's case. Although I wasn't a teen when I had my own gastric bypass (okay, so I was 22), I remember those days of being an overweight kid, teen and young adult. Amanda's case, though, is pretty special. Sarah Messiah, Ph.D., is the author of a University of Miami Miller School of Medicine study on adolescents who have gotten bariatric surgery--and Amanda is a participant. The doctor hopes that her positive results will mean more pediatricians will consider the procedure:

To me you're just kicking the can down the road while they get sicker as adults. For adolescents who do undergo the surgery, it's the first time in their life that they feel really good. It's like they have a second lease on life.

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To be honest, I kind of wish that I had had this option when I was a teen myself. Although I didn't weigh as much as Amanda did at the time, I definitely was heavily overweight and it only got worse when I started college. I'm happy that the girl is now enjoying her life at the University of Connecticut, where she "proudly describes how she can walk around the hilly campus." That's definitely a bigger accomplishment than I could have claimed. Congrats to her!

Are you inspired by this teen's weight loss story? Would you ever allow your kids to get a gastric bypass if they really needed it? Share with us in the comments below!

Image via WTVJ/NBC

Topics: diabetes  overweight  latino health  weight loss