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Jefferson Parish paramedic saves own life to continue saving others

"At age 37, Lauren decided to quit her office job and follow her dream to become a paramedic. 10 years later, she realized her lifestyle was hindering her work and slowly taking her own life."

Two women smiling

Lauren battled being overweight since childhood. It was a part of her genetic make-up and she had resigned to the notion that she would never lose weight.

Throughout her teens and young adult years, Lauren tried several diets and exercise routines all to no avail. After finishing school, she pursued a professional career, but said she always dreamed of becoming a paramedic and helping save lives.

At age 37, she gave up her desk job to follow her dream of becoming a paramedic.

Despite the major career move, Lauren continued to gain weight, which at its highest reached 325 pounds. Then one day, while helping transport a patient on a stretcher to the ambulance, Lauren realized she was in worse condition than the person she was aiding.

Something in her at that moment said it was time.

Woman smiling with her arms wide open

Lauren knew she had do something about her own health and said she turned to the Center for Surgical Weight Loss at West Jefferson Medical Center for support.

Three years later, Lauren said she has changed her life for the better, and her commitment and willpower to remain healthy so she can continue to serve and to save remains strong.

Two police staff smiling

Watch Lauren’s powerful story, as told by WWLTV Medical Reporter Meg Farris, in the video below:

How do you know if Weight Loss Surgery is right for you?
Bariatric surgery is a lifesaving procedure for many patients, although it may not be the best option for everyone. The following factors can be used to determine whether or not bariatric surgery is the right choice for you:

  • Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is 35 or greater and you have one or more obesity-related conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension or a sleeping disorder
  • You are 18 years of age or older
  • Traditional weight loss methods like diet and exercise have been unsuccessful
  • There are no existing medical conditions that could potentially cause serious complications during or after surgery
  • You are ready to commit to a healthy, active lifestyle

Dr. Treen About Dr. David C. Treen

Dr. Treen has been a leader in the field of General Surgery for many years. His skills in advanced laparoscopic surgery are widely recognized as among the best in the country. At West Jefferson Medical Center, he was the first surgeon to use laparoscopic technique to perform cholecystectomy, appendectomy, splenectomy, gastric bypass, colon resection, adrenalectomy, inguinal and incisional hernia, and introduced laparoscopic repair of hiatal hernia and GERD.

His training in bariatric surgery techniques was under Dr. Alan Whitgrove and Dr. Paul O’Brien, two of the most respected leaders in the field of bariatric surgery worldwide. He was the first surgeon to perform laparoscopic gastric bypass and LAP-BAND® surgery at West Jefferson Medical Center.

  • Certified American Board of Surgery
  • Graduate of Tulane School of Medicine, 1984
  • Residency at Alton Ochsner Hospital and Clinic
  • Fellow of the American College of Surgeons
  • American Society of Bariatric Surgeons