SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - More than sixty percent of the people who live in Dorchester County are considered obese.
Some are so overweight it's life threatening. A Summerville couple talked about their decision to have weight loss surgery and their big sacrifice to come up with the tens of thousands of dollars to pay for it.
A young couple married almost a dozen years, Daniel and Kerri Brown have faced major changes. Over the last three years, they've lost a combined 293 pounds.
The decision to have weight loss surgery came after Kerri's mother had a successful gastric bypass.
Daniel is a Dorchester County Sheriff's Deputy. We first met him years ago clocking speeders. He's an imposing figure, but he didn't consider his more than 400-pound frame an advantage in fighting criminals.
"Unfortunately we do have to run after suspects and at 406 it's not that easy," Daniel says.
His wife was dealing with other issues. Having tests to see why she wasn't getting pregnant.
Kerri said that doctors told her if she lost 20 pounds it would increase her fertility. Her gastric bypass worked and she got her son, Eli.
For the two weight loss procedures, Kerri says the total cost was,"Almost $54,000 for the both of us."
A major sacrifice for the couple. Part of the money came from the sale of their house.
Sounds like desperate measures for something like losing weight, but we're not talking about wanting to look thin. Surgery has risks. So it's only for those considered morbidly obese.
In other words, the weight is life threatening. These patients say risk is something they live with every day.
"It literally was getting to the point where I was trying to figure out how long I was going to be here," said Daniel.
So for the Browns, using the house money was a no-brainer. The couple paid cash for one surgery and financed the other.
"That's a payment I don't mind making every month," Kerri said."I've bought cars that cost as much as it did to have that surgery and I'm worth more than that car and that's how in my mind I had to justify it."
There's more to think about now, especially with baby Eli. They've changed the way they eat, the way they shop and the way they think. They've given up the old life and say they don't miss a thing.