In 2010, 43-year-old Felicia Rush-Price of San Pedro was walking around in flat shoes, accompanied by an oxygen tank, when she decided that it was finally time to get serious about losing weight. She weighed 346 pounds.
“Having to walk around with an oxygen tank was a bit embarrassing. And me, being young and a diva, not able to walk around in heels because of pain in my knees — that was challenging,” she recalled. “I had tried several times to lose weight, but I needed that extra boost.”
At the Center for Surgical Treatment of Obesity at St. Mary Medical Center in Long Beach, Rush-Price discussed her goals and options with bariatric surgeon Malgorzata Stanczyk. In early 2011 she underwent a Lap-Band procedure and over the next three years lost 112 pounds. She later underwent a gastric sleeve procedure and has since lost an additional 20 pounds.
To celebrate her success, Rush-Price wore high heels and walked the runway at a special fashion show hosted by St. Mary’s Center for Surgical Treatment of Obesity. She was among 20 models, all former patients, who wore Old Hollywood-style fashions to raise awareness of the health benefits of weight loss.
“[Losing weight] has done me wonders and made a big difference in my health,” said Rush-Price. “I’m wearing heels, don’t have to carry oxygen. My blood pressure became very normal and I feel normal. I’m in control of my life.”