After a rare neurological disorder left Nicole Taylor in a wheelchair, the weight-loss surgery team at CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Bariatric Center gave her the support she needed to live on her own terms.
Struggling with her weight wasn’t new for Nicole. She’d fought with the scale most of her life but had managed to start losing before an unexpected disease changed her life forever.
“I was at the store where I worked when my left arm went numb, and within a few days, I’d lost control of my bowels and bladder,” Nicole says. “I was diagnosed with transverse myelitis.
I become paralyzed from the waist down.”
Inflammation had caused the insulation around the nerves in Nicole’s back to become damaged. The resulting scarring left her unable to use the lower half of her body. As she settled into life in her chair, Nicole’s weight climbed. She topped out at 342 pounds and starting having trouble getting in the car and back into her chair without help. “My neurologist recommended I look into weight-loss surgery, but I went to Houston to meet with a doctor and he turned me away,” Nicole says. “I was heartbroken, but I owed it to myself and to my 6-year-old son, Haydyn, not to give up.” Online research led Nicole to Jerome Schrapps, M.D., medical director of the CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Bariatric Center. She called and made an appointment with the doctor that same day.
The Right Solution
After meeting with Nicole, Dr. Schrapps determined she was a good candidate for gastric bypass surgery and started the process of preparing her for the procedure. Nicole’s situation may have been unusual, but she wasn’t the first patient in a wheelchair Dr. Schrapps had helped.
“I fell in love with the staff and Dr. Schrapps that very first day,” Nicole says. “They worked with me to make sure I knew what to expect from surgery and recovery. I knew I’d made the right decision.” Dr. Schrapps performed Nicole’s successful gastric bypass surgery on July 20, 2015, and she started losing weight. “Nicole met the requirements for weight loss surgery and had a great attitude,” Dr. Schrapps says.
“She’s exactly the sort of patient who can benefit from weight-loss surgery, and she had a lot to gain by losing the weight.” To date, she’s dropped 143 pounds. Shopping for clothes is easier, and she can do more with her son, who is very proud of his mom for losing the weight.