JACKSONVILLE, Fla — It’s as if Allison Fisher had been given a second chance at life. Nearly a year after finding out she had a one hundred and four pound tumor growing inside her, she can finally walk, take care of herself, and she’s working to get her driver’s license.
“Mentally just like my whole perspective has changed,” Fisher said. “I mean I used to feel so hopeless, and like I was just never going to get to live life again. I was never going to be able to walk and do things that normal people can do. Now I don’t have to do any of that.”
“In February, I weighed 407 pounds. The day of my surgery I was 346 pounds and today I’m 227 pounds,” Fisher said. “It’s been a crazy past year of just losing weight, and seeing myself become a completely different person.”
Fisher said her entire life she was told she needed to lose weight.
“Every time I would go to the pediatrician she would always just tell me, ‘just lose weight, just lose weight.’ I could go in for an ear infection or a cold or something very minimal, and it would always end in me needing to lose weight,” Fisher said.
After a while, she avoided the doctor.
In 2020, she started experiencing immense pain. She could barely walk or stand for more than a few minutes. She couldn’t drive a car or even cook meals for herself.
“I could not take care of myself in any capacity. My mom was having to do it for me, and I already knew I knew that there was no way that this was just my weight,” Fisher said. “I could feel my organs bulging on the side of my stomach.”
In 2022, she finally went to St. Vincent’s in Riverside. The mass in her stomach was so large it was impacting her breathing. That’s when she learned of the massive ovarian tumor.
“My tumor, my cyst, could have been cancerous, and I’m very lucky that it wasn’t,” Fisher said. “It could have burst, and honestly killed me and I’m very lucky that it didn’t.”
After her tumor was removed, Fisher got gastric bypass surgery in May at St. Vincents. Dr. Miroslav Uchal performed the procedure.
“This is a real person coming out to me and--that’s what I like-- that’s why I do bariatric surgery, because you can see metamorphosis on a person, how they change,” Dr. Uchal said. “Because they live in a big shell, but there’s someone else inside there hidden. That’s why I love to do what I do, and I love to have people like Allison.”
She said she wants her story to serve as an important reminder to stay on top of your health and advocate for yourself.
“It’s an incredible feeling to just be able to exist in your body for the first time in your life,” Fisher said.
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