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Patient Testimonials


Robert Petz

Nutrition Services Weight Loss Patient

Struggled with weight his entire life, until he met Dr. Dejak


Robert: I struggled with weight my whole life. I did. I was up to 300 pounds. I found myself at the Summa emergency room, struggling to breathe. Something had to change. So I got a flyer in the mail from the Summa Weight Management Institute. Gave 'em call the very next day, got an appointment, never looked back.

Dr. Dejak taught me how to make healthier food choices, to read the labels, and she really keeps you motivated. It's not a piece of cake, no pun intended. You have to change your lifestyle. I've done this for a year now, and I lost 100 pounds. God, I feel better!

To know I'll be around for my grandkids, my kids. They've been such encouragement for me. I owe it to Summa, Dr. Dejak, the Summa Weight Loss Center. It changed my life, it really has. I feel so much better.


John Speelman

Weight Loss Surgery Patient

After having weight loss surgery at Summa Health, John’s life is completely different and he’s able to be the dad he wants to be.


John: - I've been struggling with my weight since eighth grade. I missed out on a lot of things with the weight gain. I'm a Cubmaster for my boys and so the breaking point for me was not being able to have the endurance that it takes to go on hikes, to do the activities that are required to be a leader.

My wife had bariatric surgery with Dr. Zografakis and the Summa Health team and I saw she had great results and so I decided to look into it also. I met with Dr Z and turned out that I was a candidate for a gastric bypass. Dr. Z encouraged me that it is a tool for me to get there and to have success.

I've gone from 260 pounds to 130 pounds and my life is completely different now. I'm able to be the dad I wanna be, the Cubmaster they need me to be. So my daughter, Lucy, she's able to give me a big hug and tells me all the time that she can get her arms all the way around me and that just brings a big smile to my face.


Kathryn and Vance Truman

Enjoying renewed energy after nutritional weight loss


Vance: I've always been a big big guy. Yeah. I knew I had to lose weight. I was almost 400 pounds. My doctor said I was facing knee surgery if I did not lose weight.

Kathryn: So I figured if Vance is going to lose weight, we do everything together, I said, well, I'll join you and we'll both go to the Summa Bariatric Program. Everybody on the Summa team is so enthusiastic, polite and friendly, and we're rooting for you. It's like having a cheerleader.

Vance: Yeah, it's excellent. I love Dr. Wells. He's just very encouraging, and he just wants you to be successful and wants you to be healthy.

Kathryn: I was surprised at how quickly I was losing weight. I mean between the both of us we lost over 200 pounds. I play tennis and on the tennis court my friends are amazed. I was sort of fast before, but now I'm really fast.

Vance: And I think going to try skiing.

Kathryn: That sounds like a terrible idea.

Vance: I believe that there's a thin person in each of us, and Dr. Wells and the Summa Nonsurgical Weight Loss Program is the way to discover that person. This works.


Gwendolyn Smith

Weight Loss Surgery

Choosing to have weight loss surgery at Summa Health was the best decision for Gwendolyn.


Gwendolyn: For years I struggled with my weight, with the high blood pressure, the diabetes, and the sleep apnea, and I just decided it was time to start doing something for myself. My doctor referred me to the weight management program at Summa Health.

That's where I met Dr. Pozsgay and we decided together it would be a good idea for me to go with the gastric sleeve surgery. It's not a magic bullet. I have changed my eating habits. I'm more conscious of what I put in my mouth now and along with exercising.

Before surgery, my BMI was over 50. I am proud to say my BMI is now approximately 30. When I look in the mirror, now I am a more confident me 'cause I can see the new me, the real Gwen that was here before she put on all this weight. That weight loss surgery was the best decision I made.


Tim Scott

Living his best life after weight loss


Tim: I really struggled with my weight my whole life. At 412 pounds, I got out of bed and went straight to the couch. Ate and laid on the couch eight hours a day.

I came to Summa for weight loss surgery and met Dr. Wells. I've learned so much from that man as far as nutrition. By the time they got me cleared for the surgery, I've lost almost 70 pounds. I decided not to do the surgery, and I could do it on my own.

I'm 56 years old, and I've lost over 200 pounds. Without Dr. Wells I don't think I'd even be here right now. This is a life changer. I can finally even get out there and mow my yard. I'm half the man I used to be, and I'm so happy about it. Now when people look at me, they look at my eyes, my blue eyes, and not my weight.

The Summa Health weight loss program, I am very thankful for them. Very thankful.


Leontyne Lynn Jones

Weight Loss Care

After having weight loss surgery, Leontyne is enjoying life and no longer on medication.


Leontyne: After I had my children, I just started gaining weight. I started having joint pain, back pain, found that I was a diabetic, hypertension, heart palpitations. I knew I had to do something.

A friend of mine told me about the Summa Weight Management Program. That's when I met Dr. Kenneth Wells. And he put me on a weight loss plan for a better lifestyle. He is amazing. I did lose some weight but I still needed to have the weight loss surgery. I met with Dr. Dan. And he recommended that I have the gastric bypass surgery.

I lost 96% of my body fat since I had the surgery. I am no longer diabetic. I'm no longer on medication. Life is heavenly. I am enjoying myself.


Marissa Martucci

Filled with happiness after losing weight with help from Nutrition Services


Marissa: During middle school, I started gaining a lot of weight because I was eating pretty bad. I wasn't feeling good about myself because I was heavier than the other kids in my school. After I reached 200 pounds, I realized I need to stop.

My doctor recommended the Summa Health non surgical weight loss program. And then I met my nutritionist Alissa. I never thought that I would eat salmon. I love salmon. It's so good for you. There's your 23 grams of protein right there.

I exercise by doing some zumba workouts and by the marching band, of course. I started to lose weight. I felt like one of the happiest girls in the world. I really felt good about myself.

Being in the nutrition program at Summa Health has really changed my life. I hope that I will be a very big inspiration to other girls that are struggling with their weight loss too. I'm excited to see my future now, because I don't know what God has in store for me, but I hope something good is going to come out of it.


Ssrelle Saikaly

Bariatric Surgery Patient

Excited to have a healthy pregnancy after gastric sleeve procedure


Ssrelle: I was always the chunky little girl, bigger than most girls my age growing up. So I was gaining weight throughout adulthood, and gained even more weight as I was having my babies, and I just didn't want high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease. I tipped the scale at over 322 pounds, and that was my breaking. point.

I did some research, and I discovered the Summa Health Weight Management Institute. When I got there Dr. Zografakis told me that I would be an excellent candidate for the gastric sleeve procedure. Dr. Zografakis is one of the best surgeons, he has the best bedside manner, and he even bought me roses. Weight loss surgery definitely isn't easy, it is just a tool, but you have to continue eating right,. exercising.

Since my gastric sleeve surgery, I've lost over 150 pounds. I eat right, I exercise, and I'm even actually expecting a baby. I'm gonna have a healthy pregnancy. Yes.


Richard Garcia

Bariatric Surgery Patient

Describes his gastric sleeve procedure as a lifesaver


Richard: Believe it or not, in high school, I was an athlete, but after high school, I started developing bad eating habits, not working out, and my weight ballooned up to 580 pounds. Everything was a chore; walking, trying to take the trash out, just basic daily functions. I had high blood pressure, water on the knees. 580 pounds, it was just killing my body. My life was in danger. I had to do something, so I looked into Summa bariatric program.

So then, I met Dr. Dan and he said I'd be a candidate for the gastric sleeve procedure. It was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. It's not a magic pill. It gives you a good start, but the rest of it's up to you. You're gonna have to change your lifestyle, eat correctly, exercise. I've lost 350 pounds.

I feel like I've been given a second chance at life. That's exactly the way I feel. This surgery is a lifesaver, by far, the best decision I ever made. Dr. Dan and his colleagues at Summa are working miracles and I'm one of them.


Annabelle Blankenship

Bariatric Surgery Patient

Living proof that there is hope – and help.


Annabelle: I believe my highest weight was 367 pounds. And so I knew that I was on a path to developing a lot of health concerns and health issues, if I didn't take control. My primary care doctor referred me to Summa Weight Loss Management Institute, and that's where I met Dr. Dan. And he told me I'd be a great candidate for gastric bypass surgery.

The one thing I've learned is surgery is not a fix-all. You'd have to work at it every day and follow the process. I've lost over 180 pounds. When I look in the mirror now, I just see confidence. It's more than just a physical change, it's more inner and emotional. What I feel on the inside now matches the outside.

Well, the future is bright. I recently married. I know I can have children safely when I wanna start a family now. For anyone that's struggling with weight like I was, I would encourage you that there is hope and there is help. And, I'm living proof.


Alicia Fitzgerald

Bariatric Surgery Patient

Living her best life with the support of Summa Health


Alicia : I was struggling with weight ever since I had my son. I kept putting on pounds until I had to take control. My primary care physician referred me to the Weight Management Institute at Summa. When I met Dr. Pozsgay, he said I was a great candidate for bariatric surgery, and it just changed my life totally.

Bariatric surgery definitely is not a fix-all. You have to do your work. You have to eat right. You have to do your exercise.

Dr. Pozsgay and the weight loss management team is beyond unbelievable. The support that they have showed me through this whole journey has been tremendous, and I'm forever grateful.

As a result of surgery, I lost 160 pounds. That's a whole nother person, and boy, I feel beautiful and look beautiful. Thank you to Summa. Life today is like a miracle. I'm living my best life.


Stephen Catalano

Found new purpose after weight loss surgery


Stephen: Growing up in an Italian family, we showed love with food. Before I knew it, I was tipping the scales at 312 pounds before I decided to make a change. An acquaintance of mine who had bariatric surgery through Summa really encouraged me to go speak to Dr. Zografakis and his team.

Dr. Z is a very charismatic man that truly cares about his patients, and I signed up that day. Everybody on the team was encouraging and almost acted like cheerleaders for me. Summa's bariatric program has become a tool for life, where the team is gonna be around me for the rest of my life. I've lost 138 pounds in the last 15 months. This past summer, you know, I did a 100-mile bike ride that I could have never done in the past.

As a man of faith, I do believe that God put people in my path, and the Summa bariatric team and Dr. Zografakis for a purpose, and I do believe that my purpose is to help other people and inspire other people, and that's what I'm here for.


Amanda Medure

Gained so much more than she lost after bariatric surgery


Amanda: Once I got married and had kids, I just started gaining weight. And it got to the point where my daughter was hugging me and said "boy Mom you're really squishy and none of my other friends mommies are squishy," and I knew something needed to be done.

I did my research on bariatric surgery, and Summa came up as a center of excellence and they were yards ahead of every other bariatric program.

My surgeon was Dr. Zografakis. Absolutely amazing man. The care and program is amazing. They tell you at the beginning that you're going to be a patient for life, and they're going to take care of you, and they really do mean that.

Since the surgery, I've lost over 150 pounds and 81% of my excess body weight. Just astounding.

When I look at myself now it's just surreal. It's about being the healthiest version of myself. Life with my kids is wonderful now. I mean, I'm not their squishy mom anymore.


Rebecca Schneider

Became a shining star after bariatric surgery


Rebecca: Weight is something I struggled with most of my life. And I finally just decided I needed to do something, and I needed to do something for myself.

I went to the Summa Bariatric Center and I met with Dr. Zografakis, and he said that I was a candidate for bariatric surgery. Doctor "Z" makes you feel very important. He said you will be a star, you will shine, and he was right. I get teary-eyed every time I think about it. I have truly been blessed.

Before surgery, it was like the world was in black and white. And then after surgery, it's in Technicolor, it's just so beautiful now. I'm the person that I always knew that I was inside. She was just trying to get out.

My new fascination is clothing, so I have stock in all the stores that I shop in now because it has gotten so crazy.


Brooks Dozier

Filled with joy after bariatric surgery


Brooks: I always struggled with my weight, and it started causing medical issues with the diabetes, the mobility issues and ultimately kidney failure.

My primary care physician with Summa, she referred me to the Bariatric Program. That's where I met Doctor "Z", and it was one of the best days of my life.

From day one you will feel comfortable with him. I did not have a lot of family and friends around, so the bariatric team became my family and friends.

With the weight loss surgery it's a lifestyle change. With the healthy eating, you try to eat clean and do right, stay on top of your vitamins.

At my heaviest weight, I was 312 pounds. Today, I'm 190 pounds. So do the math, that's a lot of weight. That's like I lost a whole person.

I'm so proud of myself and have so much joy in my life now.


Brian Brobson

Reclaimed his life after bariatric surgery


Brian: To look at me now, you would have never believed I weighed 497 pounds.

The wakeup call for me was when I went to the doctor's office, and I had gotten so big that it wouldn't even register my weight on the scale.

I was recommended to Summa Health's bariatric program by my primary care physician. My physician was Dr. Adrian Dan. He's very positive. He always makes you feel really secure. You know you're in good hands with him.

Summa's bariatric team approach is really the key for success for me. It focuses on mind, body and spirit. It's about nutrition and health, and giving you the tools that you need to be successful going forward. They are five stars all the way around.

Prior to the surgery, my reward was food. And what is surprising now is I reward myself with exercise and I really enjoy it.

When I look in the mirror now, I'm able to see someone who reclaimed their life. And I see a totally different person than I ever did before. And I'm ecstatic with that person.


Misti Miller

Weight loss patient gains happiness


Misti: I turned to Summa for weight loss surgery when I realized I couldn't do it on my own. The care that I received from start to finish was absolutely wonderful. They're kind of like cheerleaders. They want to see you do better. The care didn't just stop with me. It included my family. Sometimes it's the little things that Summa did that meant the most.

My nurse made sure I was comfortable, and Dr. Dan was absolutely wonderful. When I woke up from the surgery, and I happened to see some flowers sitting there, and to realize they were sent from my surgeon, I'll never forget that. That was a nice thing to wake up to. Made me feel very, very special.

I'm healthier now because of my weight loss. I'm just so much happier, healthier, and smiling is my way of, it's shining through. Yeah, I really love the new me. I'm so thankful for Summa.


Margo Haren

Rebuilding her life through weight loss


Margo: I could barely walk. I had no energy. And one of the things that I loved doing was I love teaching children at church, and I had to quit teaching the kids. I had to quit substituting with special needs children. I had trouble bending over and tying my shoes, and even wearing a seat belt. It was tough. It was horrible. It just was horrible. You're so addicted to wanting to eat. You were tied down. It was almost like a prison.

Dr. Zografakis: Margo had the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. That's a combination procedure where we restrict the size of the stomach from traditionally about the size of a football and reduce the size of the stomach to the size of an egg. And it does provide about 60%-70% of the excess body weight to be lost. Most people lose about 100 pounds depending on where you start. But more importantly than the weight that is lost, it has tremendous improvement in medical comorbidities or medical problems that are associated with being overweight, especially two things that Margo had which is the obstructive sleep apnea and the hypertension. And for her she was on multiple medications, and I think now you are down now only to one, correct? So from three or four medications before. So tremendous improvement in health overall. Better quality of blood pressure control, especially for diabetes resolution as well as very good outcome in improving diabetes.

Margo: And no more apnea machine.

Dr. Zografakis: And no more sleep apnea machine. I always tell people they can use that machine for an anchor on their boat on Lake Erie.

Margo: I think the most difficult part for me was becoming totally committed. But once I saw the team in action and how everyone was treating me, and there was a gentleman named Jeff that does some scheduling, I could not make a certain appointment at a certain time, so I asked him if I could come in at 6:00 in the morning, and he made arrangements to do that. They usually don't do that. But then I started to realize that these people, all of them, including Jeff, they were all for me and making my experience comfortable. The biggest thing that helped, that I really enjoy, the surgery helped that I really enjoy is being able to teach the Petunia Power kids at church. I couldn't do that because I had gained so much weight, but it was just so wonderful after I lost the weight I could re-signup and teach the kids again. I got my health back, I got my life back, and I got my energy back.


Reggie Eggleston

Shed pounds and medications with bariatric surgery


Reggie: I always lived a large life. I was a big man, and I loved to eat. I'd say the weight gain was definitely the tipping point, you know, for me.

I got introduced to Summa's bariatric team, Dr. Wells, Dr. Pozsgay. And they said this was something totally doable. They assured me right off the top, you could do this. I'm so glad I did.

Since the bariatric surgery, my diabetes, under control. Blood pressure, under control. The best thing of all, I'm off of nine pills total. That's a lot of pills.

I lost a lot of weight, but I gained better health, a better life. And I feel so much better. And I told Dr. Pozsgay and Wells, I said, "well you ain't seen nothing yet!" It's a real game changer. It's just fun. I'm a cheap date now, you know.


John Konneker

Back to the hobby he loves because of bariatric surgery


John: Since I was a kid, I've been plane crazy. P.L.A.N.E. I've always loved flying. But at over 300 pounds, I couldn't even get into my airplane anymore. It was embarrassing to do even simple things like go to a movie, sit in a restaurant booth. I wanted to have bariatric surgery so I could fit in an airplane again.

Summa Health was recommended by the family doctor. So early after the process started, I met Dr. Pozsgay. I can't say enough about him. The nurses and caregivers on the bariatric floor at Summa Health were the best. Always friendly, happy, pleasant. Maybe one day I'll just stop by and bring them some flowers. Dr. Pozsgay gave me my life back. When I see him, I smile. I just smile to myself.

After the surgery, one of the greatest things is I can fit in my airplane again. Flying high, sunshine and blue skies.


Cressane Sollenberger

Living her dreams after bariatric surgery


Cressane: I've had weight issues all my life. It got to the point where I couldn't go upstairs. I couldn't walk any distance. I didn't fit in chairs. It was embarrassing, and it was exhausting. I needed to make a change, and it needed to be drastic.

Dr. Dan with Summa Health System convinced me to go through bariatric surgery. His enthusiasm is just so contagious and convincing. The weight is just melting off. Melting away. Being able to buy clothes. Being physically able to go up and down stairs. There is so much joy in my world now. One of my lifelong dreams is to go to Paris. Now that I've had the surgery, I've lost the weight, I'm going to Paris.

The bariatric surgery really does work. I want my weight loss journey to inspire others on their weight loss journey.


Cheda Heaton

There for her family after weight loss surgery


Cheda: I have always struggled with my weight, and then I became wheelchair-bound. And you gain more weight, and it's very hard to get it back off. I have three family members who went through Summa's Bariatric Center. They inspired me to look into it.

I get very emotional when I talk about Dr. Zografakis. He is a hero, the best cheerleader, he pushes you, encourages you. He's like a doctor from TV, only he's for real.

Before I had bariatric surgery, I had high blood pressure, diabetes, couldn't sleep. And after the surgery, I'm no longer on all those medications. And now I can fit in to a pretty dress like this, and I feel pretty.

I'm independent, love to craft, and being the best housewife. Most importantly, I'm able to be here for my family.


Michael Andrews

Enjoying life every day after bariatric surgery


Michael: I struggled with my weight all my life, and my body deteriorated where I wasn't able to walk anymore. And that led me to bariatric surgery at Summa.

When I committed to bariatric surgery it was a partnership between the whole department and myself. Besides the surgeon, Dr. Dan, there was a dietitian, Hanna, Psychologist, Jennifer, and everybody else in the department. The whole staff is special. Dr. Dan is a caring surgeon. He also wanted to know what your goals were and what you expected as an outcome from having the surgery.

I've lost almost 200 pounds due to bariatric surgery, and I feel like a new person. I don't recognize myself in the mirror. I'm getting my life back, enjoying things now that I didn't enjoy beforehand because I couldn't move, couldn't walk. I couldn't go to an Indians game or a baseball game. I'm looking forward to going back to the baseball games and enjoying things with my family, my friends. It all is credited to the Summa Bariatric Care Center. I'm just enjoying life everyday.


Cassandra Wyatt

A healthier mom thanks to bariatric surgery


Cassandra: I was probably 200 pounds overweight at my heaviest. I just kept putting on weight, and I couldn't lose it on my own. I wanted to be an active mom, and I couldn't do that at 320 pounds. I needed to stop being unhealthy, and the Bariatric Center at Summa gave me that opportunity.

Whenever anyone asked me how I lost the weight, I'm very honest about it. I say I had gastric bypass surgery. It's the perfect tool to jumpstart you.

Dr. Pozsgay's amazing. He's kind, he's really friendly. So the morning of the surgery obviously I was nervous. He comes over, and he squeezes my arm, and he says "we're going to do this, you've got this."

Since I had the surgery, I'm able to do so many more things with my kids. I don't have high cholesterol any more. My sugar is normal. Dr. Pozsgay and the staff at Summa, they gave me my life back.

Now I walk down the street with my head held high, and I smile at people just trying to bring a little more compassion into the world.


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