October 24, 2014
12-year-old Texas girl battling rare obesity gets lifesaving surgery
Alexis Shapiro is a 12-year-old Texas girl who has been battling a rare form of obesity caused by brain surgery two years ago. After a lifesaving gastric bypass surgery was denied by her medical insurance, her parents began an online campaign fund hoping to collect u$S 62,000 that the medical procedure costs. Well, Alexis headed into a Cincinnati Children’s Hospital operating room on March 21 for a life-changing weight-loss surgery.
Specialist in pediatric obesity Dr. Thomas Inge and colleagues performed gastric bypass surgery and also snipped a portion of the vagus nerve to help her shed some of her 203 pounds and curb a ravenous appetite caused by severe metabolic problems.
Nearly 1,500 donors pledged more than $62,000 to help pay for surgery for the 12-year-old Texas girl who was diagnosed as morbidly obese due to a brain disease that has caused her to gain about two pounds a week.
Alexis Shapiro suffered damage to her pituitary gland, which helps regulate weight, as a result of the brain disease. She has gained about 140 pounds (63.5 kgs) in less than two years because of the problem, her mother said. Her extreme excess of body fat is clinically defined as morbid obesity.
"It has been heartbreaking for her and for us. She cannot do the things she used to love," Jennifer Shapiro, her mother, said on the fundraising site GoFundMe.
The mother said she was seeking about $50,000 for life-saving surgery to reduce the size of her daughter's stomach because the family's insurance company refused to pay for the procedure unless the patient is at least 18 or has achieved full bone growth.
Dr. Thomas Inge at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center told NBC News, however, that Alexis could receive the surgery at the hospital where he works.