Bariatric Surgery - Jackson's Story
Boys Town SPARK Clinic offers children and families resources to help reshape habits, improve activity and eat healthier. The process typically takes about six months of monitored medical intervention to change the life of the patient. But sometimes, like for Jackson Pafford, that isn’t enough.
“There [were] some diets they tried to put me on that just didn’t work for me, and there were also some workout routines that I wasn’t seeing any, like, success through,” said Jackson. In October 2021, he elected to move forward with bariatric surgery, performed by Robert Cusick, M.D., at Boys Town Hospital.
Jackson received a sleeve resection, a procedure that removes approximately 90% of the stomach. Patients who undergo a sleeve resection will often feel nausea, which impacts appetite, and they also get full much faster.
“I realized that if I wasn’t going to have this surgery, then nothing would change and I needed that change so that I could see my future,” Jackson said. “I want to be able to do things like normal people my age do without getting worn out.”
Following Jackson’s October surgery, he has lost 122 pounds and has reshaped his diet and exercise habits. The multi-disciplinary team at Boys Town has also helped with his mental health as well. “When I lost weight, I was going through a lot of, like, mental problems,” said Jackson. “You look in the mirror and you don’t recognize who you are, that kind of thing. I could talk to people [at Boys Town], and I’m glad that I had them by my side.”
Watch Jackson's Story
If it just kept going the way it was I wouldn't make it past 40.
As everyone knows there's a pandemic of pediatric obesity and there are many different options on how to treat it and the spark clinic is where the process starts. That's where these children are referred to. We have some of the best providers, who've been doing this for years, evaluating these kids.
"So I might have to put you on some additional vitamins just to correct that for now."
The process takes about six months of monitored, medical intervention to see if we can lose weight.
There was some diets that they tried to put me on that they just didn't work for me and then there was also like some workout routines that I wasn't seeing any like success through.
The one that we do most commonly, is a sleeve resection where we remove approximately 90% of your stomach. What that does is interesting. A lot of those kids feel nausea and so they don't eat as much and then they also get full quicker.
I came to realize that if I wasn't going to have this surgery then nothing would change and that I needed that change so that I could see my future. I want to be able to do things like normal people my age do without getting worn out. Just go out and have fun without worrying about, well am I over the weight limit for this or over the weight limit for that.
My goal for Jackson is to be healthy get the weight off and be the best version of himself.
It's been seven months and I've lost 122 pounds. I feel a lot better. It doesn't feel real. I was a whole different person seven months ago. My self-esteem, a year ago, was I didn't like going outside. I didn't like anybody seeing me, like, I just felt gross, but ever since I've lost weight and had my surgery, I'm confident. I'll go out and I'll do anything.
It's kind of nice to see the positive and see him, see himself, in a positive aspect versus looking down at himself or feeling down about his weight. And how he was feeling before, it's been a great change.
It was really hard because I used to go from just eating whatever I could find to like now, I focus on getting the most amount of protein I can. It's been a learning experience but I wouldn't have wanted to do it anywhere else. The team at Boys Town helped out a lot. When I lost weight I was going through a lot of like mental problems. You look in the mirror and you don't recognize who you are, that kind of thing. l could talk to people there and I'm glad that I had them by my side.
Regardless of if it's a surgery or if it's just changing your eating habits or you know lifestyle changes they'll help you with it. Be an advocate for your child and you know get them the help they need and Boys Town offers that help.
There has been a lot of hard work but I mean if you just put your mind to it, you prioritize what you want, then you can get it done. It's just a great feeling.