Jeromy's Journey

Eight months after his bariatric surgery, Jeromy Guessford said his weight loss is “mind-blowing.”

The Hagerstown resident, who weighed more than 340 pounds a year ago, is down to 196 pounds. He’s also dropped from a size 4XL to a medium in shirts.

“I just have more energy now,” he said. “I don’t feel as fatigued or as sluggish as I did before.”

The change was a long time coming for Guessford, who for years struggled with his weight and suffered from back pain. After back surgery relieved his discomfort in 2019, he said it was time to take the next step for his health.

“Fixing the problem with my back gave me motivation to work on my problem with weight loss,” he said. “My sister, Laura, was my cheerleader. She was also large and had a lot of health issues associated with obesity.”

Mohammad Jamal, M.D., a bariatric surgeon with Meritus Bariatric Surgical Specialists, performed Guessford’s sleeve gastrectomy, also known as a “gastric sleeve” procedure, using Meritus Medical Center’s da Vinci XI® robotic technology. Most patients receiving the minimally invasive procedure, which reduces the size of the stomach, experience smaller incisions, less pain and a quicker recovery than with traditional bariatric procedures.

Guessford returned home after just one night in the hospital. His incisions healed quickly, within a few weeks, he had more energy than he did before the procedure.

“The team there was amazing,” Guessford said. “I’m blessed… I’m doing things now that I haven’t done in a long time. I walked before, but now I can do it a lot easier without having the discomfort.”

After surgery, Guessford’s sleep apnea also improved, and he stopped taking one of his blood pressure medications.

Sadly, Guessford’s sister passed away a few months after his surgery. But her support remains with him, pushing him to reach his weight loss goal.

“Anything is possible,” he said. “It just takes some willpower.”