Bariatric Surgery Opens Door to Family Adventures for Shukonda

Shukonda Seizes Life and Adventure after Bariatric Surgery

At 365 pounds, Shukonda Binn, struggled to get through her 12-hour shift without sitting multiple times to relieve severe foot and knee pain caused by the excess weight. Despite her pain, she pushed herself every day to maintain two jobs and stay involved with her active son.

But, worse than her physical pain, was the guilt that she felt. When her son was 13, she had planned a special trip to Disney World, but her weight prevented her from joining him on the amusement rides. The shooting pain in her knees and feet forced her to take frequent breaks from walking.

“Every time I couldn’t do something with my son, it tore my heart out,” says Shukonda. "Even though he understood, I could see the disappointment wash over his face. I didn’t want to hold him back.”

Her weight also contributed to her dependence on blood pressure medication and, at age 37, she was pre-diabetic.

With her son and her health as motivation, Shukonda lost 40 pounds, which allowed her to come off the medication. But after gallbladder surgery, the weight returned and so did her high blood pressure. Her knee pain and plantar fasciitis also became more severe, which prevented her from exercising.

This was her breaking point. She called Virtua about bariatric surgery.

“I admit I was nervous about the surgery,” says Shukonda. “But, I knew if I committed myself, it would jumpstart a lifetime of better health.”  

Today, 16 months after gastric sleeve surgery, Shukonda has reduced her weight by more than half. She walks without pain and is off the blood pressure medication. Instead of sitting on the sidelines watching her son have fun, she has the energy and ability to join him.

Shukonda is now riding her bike up to 25 miles and enjoys boot-camp exercise classes. She and her son went whitewater rafting and recently vacationed in Jamaica where they climbed a waterfall and went jet skiing. “I’m thrilled to be able to share these new adventures with my son. I feel like I have no limitations. I can do anything. It’s a great feeling.” 

Is bariatric surgery right for you?

Learn more about bariatric surgery at Virtua, or call 1-888-VIRTUA-3 to schedule a consultation with a Virtua bariatric surgeon.

Updated January 13, 2022


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