Bay area man hopes surgery will help health - WFLA News Channel 8

Bay area man hopes surgery will help health

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Randy Taylor smiles a lot more these days.  It's a new outlook that goes with a brand new body for 54-year-old Taylor, who lost more than 260 pounds after having a gastric bypass surgery about a year ago.

The transformation has allowed Taylor, who once used a wheelchair to get around, to walk on his own. But Taylor's desire for the surgery wasn't just about lifestyle or looks.  At more than 550 pounds, Taylor was facing other health issues including a heart problem and a brain tumor. At his old size, he was too big to fit onto the table to get a CT scan.  

When Taylor's private insurance didn't cover the weight-loss surgery, he contacted 8 On Your Side, which helped him navigate medical issues and figure out that even though his private insurance didn't cover the procedure, Medicare (in which Taylor was already enrolled) did cover it.

"I never thought I'd be this small, ever," said Taylor, who is now on a new diet to accommodate his new body.  In the gastric bypass surgery, his stomach was divided into two compartments. Food goes into one small segment of the stomach but bypasses the other part.

"He's doing fantastic," said Dr. Michele Murr, who performed Taylor's surgery.  Murr is a professor of surgery at USF Health and director of metabolic surgery at Tampa General Hospital.

"Now we've taken him from somebody who in many was like a time bomb, sick, 12 medical conditions, 12 medications, unable to move, unable to take care of his personal things, and now he's an active, productive member of our society," Murr said. "What a wonderful transformation."

Taylor said his other health issues are being monitored. He's scheduled to see a doctor regarding his atrial-fibrillation in April.

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