Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Surgery gives USA employee renewed passion for life

In the year since his vertical sleeve gastrectomy, Jeremy Adcock has seen improvements in areas beyond just his health. As the organist/choirmaster at Trinity Episcopal Church in Mobile, he is now able to play the organ without getting winded and can move on the bench easier to reach the pedals.
Jeremy Adcock’s life has changed dramatically. In less than a year, he has gone from a self-described couch potato taking multiple medications to a person who exercises three days a week, runs local 5K races and no longer needs diabetic medications. He has lost 86 pounds and has a new lease on life – all thanks to a vertical sleeve gastrectomy performed by Dr. William Richards with USA Health.

Adcock, quality data/credentialing specialist for the Quality Management Department at USA Health University Hospital, said that he has experienced weight issues all his life, trying many diets along the way. He was diagnosed with type II diabetes and began taking medication with the dose increasing steadily over the years. In addition, he was taking three different medicines to manage his blood pressure. The week before his surgery, he said his A1c was elevated to 7.5, and it took all his energy just to move around his house.

Jeremy Adcock: before and after surgery
Adcock was hesitant about the surgery at first, but some research into the health benefits and what to expect, as well as understanding the small risk of side effects, helped calm his fears about the procedure. He had the surgery in July 2018 and saw a reversal in symptoms almost immediately.

“My hospital experience couldn’t have gone any better,” he said. “My surgery was on Wednesday, and I could have gone back to work the next day. That’s how great I felt. There was no pain.”

He did go home the next day, and after the surgery, Adcock said the weight started melting off, and he would feel full from small amounts of water and food. In the last year, the 44-year-old said his A1c has dropped to 5.1, he’s stopped taking his diabetic medications, and he has lost 84 pounds. To keep his muscle tone, shortly after surgery, he began going to the gym three times a week with a personal trainer and now wears a size large shirt – instead of big and tall.

“I went from being a couch potato to running in 5Ks,” he said.

He completed his first 5K in Baldwin County in April, finishing third in his age group. He said he is now addicted to running, has joined the Run Mobile running club, and plans to do at least one race a month, increasing the distance from 5K to 10K, a half marathon and beyond.

Beyond his improved health and starting an exercise routine, his surgery has impacted another important area of his life: playing the organ. He is currently the organist/choirmaster at Trinity Episcopal Church. His undergraduate degree is in organ performance, but he said that playing the organ was getting increasingly harder for him before the surgery.

“It wasn’t easy to move on the bench and accurately play passages on the pedals,” he said. “I got winded very easily. Post-surgery the organ console is a completely different animal. I don’t have to work as hard to make the music now. There is less of me to get in the way!”

Close to a year post-surgery, Adcock is amazed at the difference he has seen in his life so quickly. The surgery impacted one of his long-standing passions and has given him a new one, and he feels like he will now have many more years to enjoy them.

“I am eternally indebted to Dr. Richards for adding quality and, hopefully, many years to my life,” Adcock said. “If I hadn’t had the surgery, I truly feel I was going down a path for an early end to my life.”

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