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I had been thinking about weight loss surgery for years but had always stalled on a decision. I imagined I would finally, somehow, be able to win the lifelong battle against my weight, despite all the evidence to the contrary.

By the time I contacted Mr. Robb, I was desperate. My weight was impacting every aspect of my life. In fact, my life had contracted into a tiny thing. I was in constant pain. I rarely left the house. I was signed off sick from work for years and, although I had returned at that stage, I could only do two days a week and was finding the commute, the minimal movement required and even sitting at my desk tremendously painful. It was becoming intolerable to continue. Everyday tasks, like showering, took ages and were very difficult. I was a menace to furniture, having broken a bed, a sofa, a shower tray and several chairs, all of which were just minding their own business. I did not want to engage with anything or anyone. I took up too much space everywhere. I was in severe pain when I did, rarely, venture out, trying to pretzelise myself into a more compact form.

I began the process of working towards bariatric surgery with another healthcare facility but was let down badly. I contacted Mr. Robb in desperation in February 2020. He responded to me personally almost immediately and got me in to see him just before the Covid shutdown. Mr. Robb’s main selling point is undoubtedly his surgical expertise but, for me, of equal importance is his great kindness and the respect he shows to his patients. Mr. Robb restored my dignity and gave me hope. He did, in fact, give me my life back.

After some habitual procrastinating, I opted for a gastric sleeve. I was terrified of the general anaesthetic, despite all Mr. Robb’s kind assurances that I would definitely wake up! The staff in Blackrock were wonderful. I will never forget the kindness and care I received. I also have fond memories of the extra large chairs in the bariatric rooms! The nursing staff are tremendous and make everything easy. Again, I was treated with great dignity and kindness.

My recovery was quite straightforward. The pain was minimal and very manageable. I had some nausea in the weeks following the surgery but the bariatric team gave me medication that kept that under control and quite tolerable. When I developed a complication that was tangentially related to the surgery a few weeks thereafter, I was brought immediately back to Blackrock and the issue was resolved within 12 hours. I have had no complications or issues since then.

I have had fantastic support since the surgery. Deborah is a delight to deal with; Emer and Niamh, the dieticians, are never more than a phone call away; Dr. Finian Fallon is wonderful. Finally, of course, I cannot sufficiently sing the praises of Mr. Robb!

Having the surgery is the best decision I ever made. Almost a year out from it, my life is transformed. Everything is easier. I have hope for the future. I have gone for drinks with friends. I don’t have to use a seatbelt extender in the car. I can fit into standard chairs and not worry about breaking any furniture. I will be going on holiday next year and won’t have to wear a seatbelt extender on the plane. I have plans for the future. My relationship with my lovely, loyal husband is transformed. All my loved ones, who worried terribly about me for years, are over the moon at the changes in me. I still have a lot of weight to lose but I know I can do it. After being on blood pressure tablets for years, my GP took me off them in October. All my blood readings are good.

My only regret is not having the surgery years ago. It has given me back my life. I still have to be mindful of my eating and cautious of old, disordered patterns. The surgery is a fantastic, life-giving tool but there is work to be done by the patient and it is an ongoing process. Vigilance must always be maintained but, in many ways, it is like getting out of prison. I relish my freedom! I would not hesitate to recommend Mr. Robb and the Blackrock bariatric team to anybody. The care and support I have received have been exemplary. From the start of the process, through the surgery itself and on to the aftercare, everything has been wonderful. May the goddess bless Mr. Robb and all his team!