Perry Rocco Lucanese, 44, had always been an athletic guy. Between playing sports and regularly attending the gym, the electrician and father of six, was active. But in 2008, after undergoing surgery to treat injuries caused by a car accident, Lucanese was left with limited mobility, and eventually, a very sedentary lifestyle.
Years of restricted activity caused Lucanese to gain weight, and by 2015 he had gone from a muscular 225 pounds to 240 pounds. After a second back injury and finding comfort in food to cope with a family loss, his weight increased to 290 pounds.
Lucanese hit rock bottom. His blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure were affected, and he suffered from sleep apnea. He needed assistance showering and getting dressed. Anything that required bending over was almost impossible for him.
“I was like a snail in a shell,” Lucanese said. “It was both a physical and an emotional burden for me and my family. I was tired of being sick and tired.”
In January 2018, Lucanese underwent bariatric surgery at Broward Health Imperial Point with surgeon Michael Choi, M.D. The next day he was home and working hard to turn his life around.
“People think bariatric surgery is the easy route,” Lucanese said. “Because of my condition, it was the only route for me. It was not easy. My body began withdrawing from certain foods, portion control was a constant change in thought process and I had to learn to listen to my body.”
Almost nine months later, Lucanese has lost 75 pounds and is still losing weight.
“My family life went from a five to 100, but I had to commit 100 percent,” he said. “If you don’t, it’s like wasting a gift.”