Adventist Health Portland | Living Well | Spring 2024

6 LIVING WELL In a crisis, Jenny Azevedo wastes no time. She’s a charge nurse at Adventist Health Portland’s emergency room, where she works fast to save lives and help people navigate their toughest moments. So when Jenny’s own health reached a critical point, she knew she had to make a major change. “I’ve always been a bigger person and carried extra weight,” she says. “I’d lose a little, and then I’d just yo-yo, up and down. Finally, when my highest weight was 302 pounds, I got to a point where I said enough is enough.” At work, Jenny was feeling the effects of extra pounds. She’d get so fatigued, she’d drink lots of coffee and power drinks to perk up. On lunch breaks she’d take naps. Even at home, just trying to sleep, she couldn’t get comfortable. Perhaps most concerning, Jenny’s blood pressure was consistently high. Jenny talked with her doctor about options, including weightloss medications. Her doctor suggested she contact Oregon Health & Science University, an Adventist Health Portland partner, to see if she might qualify for weight-loss surgery. “That springboarded things,” Jenny recalls. “I reached out to OHSU, took their online assessment tool and found out that, yes, I would likely be a candidate for weightloss surgery. I was both relieved and a little bit nervous.” The plan takes shape Jenny met with her surgeon, Ryland Stucke, MD, at Adventist Health Portland. “I didn’t make the final decision until after I met Dr. Stucke and got an in-person vibe with him,” Jenny says. “He’s great. He’s super nice and has such a great bedside manner. He and his team answered all my questions.” Another part of Jenny’s presurgery plan was meeting with nurse practitioners, dietitians, physical therapists and psychologists. The goal, over several months, was to prepare physically and mentally for surgery and life afterward. “The biggest thing they told me was to start thinking about healthier eating habits,” Jenny says. They also gave Jenny a binder full of information about what to expect and what her daily life might look like before and after surgery. Jenny Azevedo, RN, has lost nearly 100 pounds. “I feel amazing,” she says. Added Energy, A nurse’s weight-loss story