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by The Joint Commission

Jacobi Medical Center is a member of the National Health Service Corps.

Jacobi receives the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (NAPH) 2011 Safety Net Patient Safety Award for its Reducing Adverse Outcomes on Labor and Delivery initiative.
Learn more (in PDF)

Center of Excellence
Meet Our Patients Our Team Types of

The patients you’ll read about here are real. You’ll learn how bariatric surgery helped them leave behind major health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, potentially fatal sleep apnea, crippling joint problems, and serious heart and lung conditions -- while jumping back into life with a joy they wondered if they’d ever feel again.

Our bariatric surgery team helped them change their lives. We can help you, too.

Meet Marie Naddeo


Sleeve gastrectomy

Before surgery: 384 lbs.

15 months after surgery: 179 lbs.

“I have two birthdays. One is the day I was born. The other is the day Dr. Chopra of Jacobi Hospital did my bariatric surgery… and I began to live again.”

When Marie, aged 47, meets new patients at our Bariatric Surgery Center support groups, she gets gasps when she displays her “before” sweatpants. The huge piece of black material resembles a tarp.

But the gasps quickly turn to applause.

Because Marie is living proof of the positive changes produced by Dr. Chopra’s bariatric surgery. A sleeve gastrectomy helped her go from 384 lbs to 179. She is now svelte, stylishly dressed, and beaming.

Along with losing 205 lbs, Marie lost her sleep apnea, her persistent exhaustion, her inability to walk around the block without a pounding heart …and a life that had been put on hold.

“I had basically stopped living. For three years, I hid in the house. I couldn’t fit in chairs, so I stopped going anywhere.

I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t lay on my back because I’d feel like I was being suffocated. I couldn’t clean myself in the shower, so I always felt dirty. I couldn’t walk around the corner without feeling my heart was going to pump out of my chest.

At the office, people calling for me on the phone would say, ‘Let me speak to the fat girl.’ That made me so angry. But what could I do?

Now I feel like someone put a battery in me! I walk everywhere. I had the confidence to go out and find two jobs. The people at Jacobi were beautiful – the nurses, the surgeons, everybody. They gave me so much encouragement as the weight was coming off. I’ll never forget anybody here.

Now that I have my health back, I’m going to find my happiness. I am in love with life!”

Meet Terry Agnew


Adjustable gastric banding

Before surgery: 353 lbs.

1-1/2 years after surgery: 235 lbs. 

"I’ve got my life back."

"At 353 pounds, I had sleep apnea, high blood pressure was right around the corner, and I was scheduled for my seventh knee surgery. I loved to travel and fly, but having to ask the stewardess for a seatbelt extension made me avoid planes like the plague. I hated calling attention to myself.

When I visited friends, I sometimes broke their plastic patio chairs. I’m a very outgoing guy, but when those things started happening, they pulled me into being introverted. At 350 lbs, my marriage broke up. I wondered, ‘Will I ever have another relationship?’

Now I have a new life and a new career. Reaching my goal weight was supposed to take three years; I did it in less than one year. It’s probably because I’m always walking!

The recovery from surgery was incredibly fast. I had surgery on Thursday. Tuesday, I was back at work chasing high school kids around the room.

I say to people, 'Do you want to feel good about yourself? There is a way.’”

Meet James Pittman


Sleeve gastrectomy

Before surgery: 336 lbs

After surgery: 177 lbs.

“I’m the happiest and ... the healthiest I’ve ever been in my life.”

“I studied fashion design in college. But I never pursued a career in fashion, the field I loved. I knew I’d have a rough time breaking in. It didn’t matter how much talent I had. I was a big fat black man….in a skinny world.

Since my bariatric surgery, I’m the happiest and probably the healthiest I’ve ever been in my life.”


Meet Paola Pichardo


Adjustable gastric banding

Before Surgery: 280 lbs.

After Surgery: 150 lbs.

"I feel like I can do anything!"

“Before I went to Jacobi, I was always tired. I had difficulty walking anywhere, going up and down stairs or even playing with my child. My weight was always a problem.

Since my surgery, it’s been a whole new life for me. I’m eating healthy because of the advice and encouragement I received from the bariatric team. I have much more energy and I’m finally able to keep up with my child. I feel like I can do anything.”

Meet Ruben Perez


Sleeve gastrostomy

Before Surgery 535 lbs.

After Surgery 150 lbs.

"It's totally different now."

“My life used to be a nightmare. Even the most basic tasks were difficult. I had sleep apnea, high blood pressure and a rapid heartbeat. It was hard to even move. I know I was only a few months from being bedridden.”

“It’s totally different now. I go out with my friends all the time. I’m off all of my medications I needed before and instead exercising regularly. I’m even able to work now. Dr. Chopra was great; he helped me through everything and was very reassuring when I had any difficulties.”


You could be another success story at Jacobi's Bariatric Surgery Center
How can our experienced team give you back your health... and your life? Call for a consultation and Body Mass Index (BMI) screening: 718-918-5677 (LOSS) Take the first step toward your new life…today.