Weight Loss Success Stories

Below are a few of our bariatric surgery patients that have gone through the personalized weight loss program at Lafayette General Medical Center.  They have fantastic stories of how their lives have improved since having weight loss surgery:
  • getting off multiple medications
  • resolution of co-morbidities
  • playing with their children and grandchildren
  • enjoying the simple things in life such as being able to walk up and down the steps in Tiger Stadium or being able to tie their own shoes
Please read their inspiring stories!


Vertical Sleeve GastrectomyJeremy Darbonne  
Surgery Type: Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy 

Before my surgery I never wanted to exercise because of my size, and I was scared to go to the gym because I didn’t want everyone to stare at the big guy working out. Since my surgery, I have totally gotten over that fear and love going to the gym as much as I can. The benefits of having weight loss surgery are feeling, looking, eating, sleeping and moving better. I can buy clothes in a store again and I am no longer in the “big” and tall section. I always focused on what my next meal would be before the surgery and now I no longer think about food the way I used to. I no longer “live to eat,” now I “eat to live”.   I find it so easy to follow the guidelines that were given to me. I feel like I have added years to my life and will be around much longer now that I am healthier. This surgery has changed my life and I hope to inspire others to see that if I can do it, then certainly anyone can! My entire life is better! I stay motivated by focusing on my goals and seeing how proud everyone is of me.

Jeremy had the vertical sleeve gastrectomy and set a goal weight of 250 lbs. Today he weighs 236 lbs. Jeremy lives a healthy lifestyle by eating healthy and exercising 6 days a week. He works with a personal trainer 3x/week and does cardio 3x/a week on his own.


Weight Loss SurgeryAmy Lovett
Weight Loss: 100+

Amy came to the bariatric program at LGMC, seeking weight loss surgery and help with general and social anxiety.

She weighed 260 pounds and her anxiety had escalated to where she would not drive anywhere but around her home in Abbeville.  In order to make appointments, her husband needed to drive her every time. Growing up, Amy was teased for being overweight and lacked self-confidence.

After starting the bariatric program at Lafayette General, she learned to successfully practice stress management and overcome her fears and anxiety.  Six months after weight loss surgery, Amy started CrossFit classes.

Now, Amy and her husband are part owners of the same CrossFit gym she joined and she is a group fitness instructor, teaching a women’s boot camp.  She now happily drives around town, and loves to go shopping!

Amy keeps a before and after photo as her screensaver on her phone. She says that it keeps her humble knowing where she came from, and the work it took to get where she is today.  She’s lost well over 100 pounds and 50 inches!


Brad Broussard
Surgery Type: Gastric Sleeve
Date of Surgery: 11/9/15
Weight Loss: 106.5

Gastric Sleeve Success Stories

The reason why I decided to have bariatric surgery was because I wanted a life change for me and my family. I was tired of having high blood pressure and, at the rate I was going, I’m not sure I would have been here to see my only son get married, or have children.  That has all changed because of the surgery.             

Our family doctor, Brian Granger, recommended I see Dr. Dennis Eschete.

I was always tired, no energy and very frustrated with things I wanted to do, but couldn’t.  I had high blood pressure, I was not sleeping well and was always out of breath to do anything. Never motivated!

When I started this journey, I wanted to be a star patient, to do a 5K, run at least 1 mile,  discontinue blood pressure meds, and be the best person I can be! 

I have achieved all of these goals!  I completed the 5K Color Run.  I am running two miles – twice a week.  I am getting most of all my small personal goals complete, so I can keep my weight-loss journey going.

My biggest supporter is my wife, Angel. She has always wanted me to get healthy, and I always would say, “What’s the big deal?  I don’t have a problem!” I am so glad she opened my eyes and mind to what I was really doing to my body, and my relationship.  I will always be grateful to her for this gift.

My son Taylan is my biggest supporter and accountability at the gym. He motivates me and keeps me going. The father and son relationship we have is the best relationship I could ever ask for! He is my best friend. 

My brother Brian keeps my spiritual self in order, and has always kept me moving in the right way. He is my “Go To” guy when I need someone to talk to and release my negative day.

The LGMC Bariatric Staff have been the rock me and my wife stand on. They have been the guides for our success in this whole process. Thanks for giving me my life back!! I am truly blessed to have these people as my balcony!

I have discovered that I have a blood disorder, and I have to be on blood thinners. However, with my new healthy body I have, I can control it. The biggest problem is that I have to keep telling myself that I am no longer FAT, or what I would hear is the ugly word OBESITY.   I look at myself in the mirror, and I don’t see “Fat Brad” anymore. I see a new Brad, “Healthy Brad.” 

My biggest success in this weight-loss journey has been a better relationship with my wife and family.  I also feel better about myself.

I made goal at 7 months after surgery to lose 120lbs. I was wearing a 42” waist and XXL shirt. Now, I am a 30” waist, and large shirt.

I am 42 years old, and I have never been this much in shape ever. I am addicted to the gym!!!

The future looks bright! I plan on doing more 5K’s, 10k’s and I am participating in my first triathlon on August 20, 2016. My hope is that I keep on moving forward in my weight loss, because I never want to go back to the old me. My goal is to help other weight-loss patients understand that this is a life change, NOT A DIET!

P.S. This journey has shown me what kind of person I always wanted to be, a better husband, father, friend and just a better person overall.  I believe that this surgery has helped me realize that I am that kind of person.

Never Let Your Negative Thoughts Overpower Your Positive Actions…  Brad Broussard - 11.9.15


Angelina “Angel” Broussard
Surgery Type: Gastric Sleeve
Date of Surgery: 9/14/15
Weight Loss: 75 lbs.  

Bariatric Surgery Before and After

I had tried many times to "get healthy," but never saw it through.  I would become frustrated and give up when I didn't see the results I was looking for.  I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.  I was referred for Bariatric Surgery by Dr. Brian Granger, our awesome family doctor, and read positive online reviews about Dr. Eschete.  I had Type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, limited mobility (which I didn't know just how much until the weight came off), low self-esteem and a lack of energy. I wanted to be able to shop on the “other side” of the store – not in the plus size section, get rid of my diabetes and my sleep apnea. 

I wanted to be happier, healthier and more active.  I wanted the weight of anxiety and depression to be lifted.

I have met the following goals:

  • I am currently between a size 8 and 10.
  • I no longer take medication for diabetes or use a CPAP machine. 
  • I am more active now than ever before.
  • I feel like I am living life, not just existing here on this Earth. 
  • My confidence is building, my depression is gone and my anxiety is easing with each passing day.

My number one supporter was my husband, Brad.  Brad and I spent many years on separate pages when it came to health.  It was not until we made the decision to do weight-loss surgery, that we were able to provide the support and motivation we both needed to be successful. 

My son was also a source of motivation.  He got on the bandwagon.  He no longer wanted me to buy sweets and sodas, and he wanted to go exercising at the gym.  It was a reminder of how much my actions as a parent influenced my child.  My lifestyle is slowly becoming his lifestyle, and hopefully he will continue with living a healthy lifestyle into adulthood. 

It is never too late to make a change.  The staff at Acadiana Weight Loss Surgery and Lafayette General Bariatrics provided good information and were always available when we needed.   The staff at Lafayette General Wellness Center at the Townhouse, where Brad and I exercise, were there for us as well.

I did not experience any health problems after surgery, although, it has been an emotional ride.  I still get teary-eyed when I walk into a department store and feel overwhelmed by all the choices I have.  I get emotional thinking about carrying 77 extra pounds.  I get teary-eyed when I think about all the small things I can do now that I wasn’t able to do before. 

I am still learning to tell myself that I am worth the time and effort to say "no" to what is not good for me more than I say "yes."  The “fat girl” glasses come on from time to tim,e so I am having to learn to love and accept my flaws, and just be grateful for my HEALTH, regardless of what my physical body looks like.

Weight loss in itself is a huge success for me!  I was a quitter my entire life.  I quit things when I didn't see the success I was expecting.  My standards were so high that not even I could live up to them. 

I began this journey hoping and praying I would see it through, and NOT give up, no matter what! 

I am proud to say that I am seeing this journey through.  I feel an extreme sense of accomplishment that I was able to improve my health, strength, flexibility and endurance.  My life is different in so many positive ways.   I never thought I would love to exercise, much less go to the gym 4 days a week, do long bike rides, jog or participate in 5K events.  I did not understand the benefits of this lifestyle before, but now I do.  I wish I could convince everyone that diet and exercise will do things to our mind and body that you never imagined. 

I was ready for the change, and haven’t looked back.  I would like to lose another 10 to 20 pounds, and continue with clean eating and exercise. 

I want to enjoy life as much as possible!


Yvette Greig
Type of Surgery: Gastric Sleeve
Date of Surgery: 12/2/14
Weight Loss: 143

Weight loss success stories

Prior to surgery, I suffered with Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, hypothyroidism, high blood pressure and sleep apnea. I was on four medications.

Today, I am on two medications, I no longer suffer from high cholesterol and diabetes. My blood pressure has decreased, and I am doing a sleep study in the next couple of weeks hoping to no longer be on a CPAP machine.

Before surgery, I had tried many diets, but eventually I gained my weight back. I wasn’t as active as I wanted to be, but managed what I could. For over 30 years I weighed over 200 lbs. I knew I needed to change before my diabetes and other health problems did me in!

NOW, I eat healthy, exercise at a gym with a trainer, and I feel the healthiest I have ever been. I have an abundance of energy, and can keep up with my beautiful grandchildren. I have lots of love and support from my family and friends.

My brother passed away on September 6, 2013. He was always worried about me being overweight. I know for certain he was with me during my surgery last December, and is still watching over me with a smile!


Maurice Melancon
Surgery Type: Gastric Sleeve
Date of Surgery: 1-12-2015
Weight Loss: 140 lbs.

Weightloss Success Stories


Prior to surgery, I had diabetes, high blood pressure, a heart murmur, a heart stent, low back pain, frequent sciatic nerve problems, poor circulation in my legs and pain in both knees. I currently have none of these health problems.

I was always tired, short of breath, depressed and had very low self-esteem.  I was never able to walk very long distances without having to stop and rest. 

Today, I’m having to stop and wait for my friends! My old friends don’t even recognize me!

Now I walk, and I am up to 5 miles on my bicycle. I love shopping in the regular men’s department. To think, I used to walk into stores and couldn’t even purchase a jacket. I even bought my first pair of skinny jeans!

I feel fantastic!



Willie Gaspard
Surgery Type: Gastric Sleeve
Date of Surgery: May 2013
Weight Loss: 167 lbs

Weight Loss Success Stories

In the words from someone who suffered from obesity, “What bothered me most about being overweight was not being able to enjoy the outdoor activities that I enjoy doing and all the medical problems were exhausting.”  The physical symptoms and seeing older relatives and friends with problems from being overweight and resulting in premature death led me to having bariatric surgery. I chose to have my surgery at Lafayette General Medical Center because the staff was very knowledgeable and I had friends who had the surgery there. One of my goals was to get my diabetes under control and walk in the marsh where I hunt. I am happy to say that I am no longer on any medication for diabetes and I am able to walk in the marsh. This is something I could never do in my life before surgery. The greatest success in my journey was the day I was able to put on a size 36 pants, a size I wore before Jr. High.

My wife has always stood behind me and supported me in everything I do. Now, my plan is to stay healthy and fit. I always follow the rules of eating, protein first, no drinking before or after meals. It truly does work! I exercise as much as possible with my busy work schedule. And for anyone thinking that they can’t do this, you can! I am a chef and I work with food many hours of the day. At times, it’s hard but the reward is much greater being healthy and knowing that you are taking care of your body. Little things that I do if exercising is not an option for the day, I park far away at work or at a store, take the stairs when possible. Every little bit helps. Finally, after years of trying to conceive and countless tries with fertility treatments, my wife and I are expecting a baby naturally! I truly believe that this surgery has given my wife and I just another amazing gift, a baby. Just another reason for me to keep up the hard work of staying healthy and fit. I want to be able to keep up with the little one and watch my child grow up.


Lynette Bertrand
Surgery Type: Gastric Sleeve
Date of Surgery: March 25, 2013
Weight Loss: 115 lbs

Gastric Bypass Before and After

Like many others who opt for weight loss surgery, Lynette was beginning to develop other health issues and did not want to take medications because of the side effects. So when her doctor told her that she had high blood pressure and wanted to give her a prescription drug to control it, she knew it was time to do something. She saw an advertisement on TV for the Lafayette General Medical Center’s Bariatric Surgery program, looked it up on our website and decided to make the call. In addition to addressing her health issues, Lynette wanted to live a healthier life and get off of her asthma medications.

Since her surgery, she has achieved 95% of her weight loss goal, losing over one hundred pounds. She has avoided taking any blood pressure medications, discontinued her asthma medications and improved her quality of life. While time in her busy schedule has been an issue, Lynette has put her health as a priority and remained consistent with her exercise, walking and/or biking 3 times a week and strengthening on the weight machines at the gym, 2-3 times a week.

Today, she is much happier, as are her biggest supporters, her husband and 2 sons. Due to her increased level of energy they are spending more quality time together, enjoying bowling and playing pool and looking forward to outdoor activities such as camping and swimming during the warmer months. Lynette is also enjoying shopping since she no longer has to shop for plus sizes and has many more options. Maybe a new swim suit is in order for those camping trips!?!

It is her current goal, to continue her healthy lifestyle and to inspire her family to also eat well and get to the gym more. Lynette would like to express her thanks to Dr. Gachassin and the Bariatric team for all of their support and encouragement.


Angela Pontiff
Surgery Type: Gastric Sleeve
Date of Surgery: April 1, 2014
Weight Loss: 80 lbs

Weightloss Surgery Before and After

I have struggled with my weight since I was young and have been on many diets, but never had long term success with any weight loss program. I started researching bariatric surgery about 2 years ago and read about the program at LGMC. I attended the weight loss seminar in August 2013, where I heard Dr Eschete speak about the program. Once I heard Dr Eschete speak, I knew he was the doctor for me and this was the right program for me to have long term success with my weight loss efforts. After several months of waiting, I had gastric sleeve surgery on April 1, 2014. The first month was challenging, not being able to drink or eat very much, but with the support of my husband and family, I made it thru the first month.

I am very fortunate to have a great support group; from my family, friends and work family. Everyone is always encouraging me. I have one very special friend, Dot, who is my biggest cheerleader when it comes to my weight loss. I can always count on Dot to tell me how good I am doing and also to let me know when I not making the best food choices. Since my surgery, I have a lot of great successes, I have lost 80 lbs., I exercise at least 5 times a week and no more blood pressure medicine. I have so much more energy and feel great!! I would like to thank the Bariatric team for your support because without all of your guidance I could not have accomplished all what I have so far. I am not at my final goal yet, but plan to be there by April 1, 2015. I am looking forward to many more years of living this new healthier lifestyle.