Tammy’s Weight Loss Story

Jun 30, 2021

Tammy Knowles is a mother, grandmother and friend, who made the choice to have bariatric surgery at Walker Baptist Medical Center. Here, Tammy talks about her weight loss journey and how bariatric surgery has improved her quality of life.

Where would you start with sharing your journey?

I knew in January (2020) that I had to make some life changing decisions and was worried about the choices that needed to be made.  Then, I heard about Dr. (Kyle) Packer from my daughter, Heather Tittle, who works in the (operating room) at Walker Baptist.  She said he was an amazing doctor and was starting the bariatric (surgery) program. I decided to set up an appointment to meet Dr. Packer.  My meeting with him went very well.  He was friendly and helpful.  We spoke about several options for weight loss.  We discussed the different options that were available in the bariatric program and which surgery we thought was a better for me.  His knowledge on all the procedures helped me start my journey that very day.  Not only was he friendly and knowledgeable, but he was firm.  He was very up front about what my part in this journey would be and the things that I would be responsible for doing.  So, my journey with Dr. Packer began in February 2020.  

Why did you have bariatric surgery?


I have been morbidly obese for years, but I was struggling more each day.  I had tried several weight loss programs with no success.  I had high blood pressure, knee problems and was just struggling daily to physically manage due to my size.  I am not the type to let anything hold me back, but my weight was holding me back in so many ways.  Anyone who is obese can understand just the struggle of trying to go somewhere: “How far will I have to walk to get where I am needing to go?” … “Can I fit behind the table at the restaurant?” … “Will I be able to fit on the rides at the fair?” … “Will I be able to walk up a flight of stairs?” 

There was also the worry about getting on a plane and being able to fit in the seat.  My main concern was will my obesity decrease my life expectancy?  I have four wonderful and amazing grandchildren and my weight was holding me back from enjoying life with them.  We all want to look better, but my weight loss surgery was not for looks, it was for my general health. 

Why did you seek care at Walker Baptist in Jasper? 

I believe Walker Baptist has a great staff.  I feel that way not only about the doctors, but also the nurses.  I have had a few other surgeries at (Walker Baptist) and have never received anything but great care. In my opinion, it takes a caring heart to be in the medical field. In October 2020, after much thought, I had the gastric sleeve. I knew when I went to sleep in the OR that everything that could be done for me, would be done. 

With any surgery you always have worries, but again I knew that I was in great hands.  The last thing I remember before going to sleep was seeing smiling eyes.  What better care could you ask for? After the surgery, I was moved to a room and stayed for a few days.  I received excellent care and did not lack for anything.  This was a hard time for the nurses and staff due to COVID and the increase in patients, but, yet again, I received excellent care.  I loved seeing the smiles behind the mask of all those that took such great care of me before, during and after surgery and during my recovery. 

Where are you today in your journey?

I am down approximately 100 pounds and I feel amazing! Thankfully, I haven’t had any problems. I am so grateful to Dr. Packer for making sure I was aware of everything that I had to do after surgery to stay healthy. I can now climb steps without having knee pain.  I am no longer on blood pressure medicine and I am not looking at a knee replacement.  I do not sit and worry about how far the walk will be to get where I am going.  I can park as far away as I need and hit the road. As for my grandchildren, I can chase them down and do whatever they want or need me to do.  I can ride any ride they ask me to get on.  I feel so much better physically and mentally.

Has your quality of life improved? 

The answer to that is YES!!!

There are no words that can express how much I appreciate the great care that I received from everyone at Walker Baptist.  The care received before, during and after my surgery … it has changed my life and I am so thankful.  Thank you God for giving us such great people to care for us and for guiding me on this journey.  It is indeed a journey that is not over, but one that has just begun.

“This testimonial reflects the results achieved by this patient. As each case is different and must be independently evaluated and managed, actual results will vary.” Bariatrics/Surgical Weight loss Criteria: "Weight loss surgery is generally designed for those with a body mass index (BMI) equal to or greater than 40, or equal to or greater than 35 with serious comorbidities. Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding with the Lap Band® is also FDA-approved for weight loss surgery in people with a BMI of 30 to 35 who have at least one obesity-related condition. Weight loss surgery is considered safe, but like many types of surgery, it does have risks. Consult with your physician about the risks and benefits of weight loss surgery."