After weight-loss surgery, Beebe offers blueprint for healthy living
Mike Killmon doesn’t hesitate when he says Tarek Waked, MD, saved his life. A Salisbury native who now resides in Rehoboth Beach, Killmon has been on a journey since 2020, when he decided surgical weight loss was his best option to return to a healthy life.
Killmon is an active and influential figure in the entertainment industry, representing some of the top talent across the globe. The fast-paced, demanding nature of his job paired with the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown resulted in weight gain and its related diseases. With health issues piling up by the end of 2020, Killmon realized he could not manage these struggles on his own, so he turned to weight-loss surgery to help.
“I didn't have a roadmap before I met Dr. Waked in terms of how to live a healthy lifestyle,” Killmon said. “And it's not just about food. It's a whole personal reset, reinvention. It's a process; it's trial and error. With Dr. Waked, I have a blueprint now for what works for me that's customized to my lifestyle, to the work that I do.”
His lifestyle transformation, as with many bariatric patients, didn’t come overnight after his gastric sleeve surgery. He said board-certified surgeon Dr. Waked, Kim Hyatt, MPH, RD, LDN, and the rest of the Beebe Center for Weight Loss team helped him make permanent changes for the future.
“You always hear people say weight-loss surgery is the easy way out,” said Killmon, because they think the rest of the process will be easy. Dr. Waked set him straight, saying that's a huge misconception. “I call it the healthy way out. That's how it is, because you still have to put in a lot of work after surgery,” Killmon noted.
“You have to follow a healthy nutrition plan,” Waked said. “You have to be more active. You have to deal with all the stressors that you have in life. You have to watch which medications you take, a lot of them. There's a lot of what you, as the patient, have to put into it ... changing your lifestyle for the years to come after surgery.”
Killmon understood he had to use the tools provided by the Beebe team to successfully lose weight and keep it off. This long-term relationship with his care team helped him get back to a healthy weight, and adopt meaningful, holistic lifestyle changes that have permanently impacted his outlook on health and well-being. The Beebe team has collaborated closely with his fitness trainer, Eli Lynn, to provide a healthy balance of nutrition and a personalized physical regimen.
“With Dr. Waked and with Kim, they are always available to talk, and it's comfortable and it's easy because they care,” Killmon said. “It's rare, you know. I mean, before I started seeing Beebe providers, it was nearly impossible to get in touch with my physicians.”
The Beebe team has taken the time to get to know Killmon not only as a patient, but as a person – to understand his career-related challenges and work closely with him to develop effective plans that accommodate his busy lifestyle. This allows him to do what he loves without compromising his health.
“With Dr. Waked and Kim, even though their schedules are chaotic and busy, it doesn't feel that way. It’s very personalized, and I feel very privileged. I'm sure they make everybody feel like that,” Killmon said. “When I’m in the office or talking to them, it's genuine energy, and it makes me want to be a better patient and live a better lifestyle – it's inspiring.”
In addition to Killmon’s motivation from the Beebe Center for Weight Loss team, he draws upon his career experiences for inspiration every day.
“No matter who you are, no matter what you did, no matter where you’ve come from, you can always change, become a better version of yourself.” – Madonna
Beebe Center for Weight Loss Surgery is led by Dr. Tarek Waked, an experienced surgeon who trained at the Mayo Clinic and has performed more than 2,000 successful weight-loss procedures. Kim Hyatt, a registered dietitian, guides bariatric patients through their pre- and post-operative period, which includes classes, support groups, and addressing patients’ questions and concerns. Dr. Christopher Manieri, a bariatric and general surgeon, joined the center team in September 2021. The center is designated as a Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program, an accreditation recognizing centers that set national standards for care with quality and safety measures.
As a community-based, not-for-profit healthcare system, Beebe Healthcare depends on the generous support of the community it serves. To make a gift to celebrate the excellent care you or a loved one has received, visit Beebe Medical Foundation at beebemedicalfoundation.org or call 302-644-2900. Want to share your story? Contact Amanda Neal at firstname.lastname@example.org.