The Sky is the Limit for Kate Rutherford

By: Crouse News

Imagine being 17, filled with the youthful anticipation of riding one of the tallest rollercoasters in the country. As you reach the front of the line for your turn on its next go-around, you slide into your seat, eagerly awaiting to take off.

Humiliating Incident
An attendant comes by to assist passengers, only to insist that since the safety straps won’t fit around your body, you’ll need to leave the ride. As you exit the coaster car, the situation plays out painfully in front of your new college roommate and countless strangers who witness the obvious predicament: your weight.

This humiliating incident haunted Kate Rutherford as she tried one diet program after another, with no success at significant or lasting weight loss.

Tackling the Rollercoaster Ride
Fast forward 15 years. Kate’s life has changed dramatically since that devastating experience in her teens. She’s welcomed the birth of two children—she had always wanted to be a mom—and recently bought her first home. In 2023, she was finally able to fit into a seat safely and comfortably to tackle her looming nemesis, that rollercoaster ride she was once denied.

What’s made all the difference for Kate, now 32? Bariatric Surgery at Crouse.

“As soon as I met Dr. Taewan Kim and Physician Assistant Mindy Shaw, I knew I’d come to the right place,” says Kate. “I was welcomed and accepted unconditionally. I had great confidence they could help me.”

Kate’s Motivation
Kate’s success story of dramatic weight loss and improved healthy habits has not been without challenges. Yet she has faced them with her “why,” her continuing motivation: to establish a lasting healthy lifestyle for herself and her sons David, nearly five, and Declan, born in 2022. “There was a time when I couldn’t even get on the floor to play with my young boys,” says Kate. “It broke my heart but provided me with a compelling reason to lose the weight for good.”

The Crouse weight-loss journey began for Kate in the winter of 2019. She had attended a seminar to learn the facts about bariatric surgery and then began the process leading up to her life-changing procedure in September 2020. By May 2021, she had lost 100 lbs. She’s shed an additional 50 lbs., going from a high of 319 to 169 lbs.

Support from the Crouse Bariatric Team
Kate knows she couldn’t have achieved this milestone on her own. “The entire bariatric team at Crouse supports your health and cheers you on all the way,” pointing to not only Dr. Kim and Mindy Shaw, but to their colleagues who guide patients with nutritional counseling before and after surgery, as well as helping to work through psychological issues related to weight.

Although she’s several years post-surgery, Kate still embraces the message that the Crouse team emphasized to her from day one: Weight-loss surgery is just a tool. A lifetime of sound eating practices and physical activities must follow.

Beyond Grateful
“I love being able to exercise and move more now,” says Kate, who takes her boys to the Baldwinsville YMCA regularly. “I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to live a healthy lifestyle without difficulty due to excess weight hindering my health.”

Kate advises anyone who needs to lose a significant amount of weight, especially because of underlying health conditions, to learn whether bariatric surgery is right for them. “Contact the Crouse team. They may be able to help you, as they did me,” she says.

The Sky’s the Limit
Looking back, Kate Rutherford took a leap of faith when she chose to have bariatric surgery at Crouse in 2020. This past year, approaching her lowest weight ever, she chose a more literal leap—one out the side of a plane. While she’s sure she wouldn’t attempt skydiving again, she now knows that weighing less and improving her health more has allowed her to reach new heights. For Kate and her family, the sky’s now the limit.

Crouse News is reported by members of our Communications Team.

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