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649-POUND RAPPER “MASSIVE” TO GET A NEW RHYTHM OF LIFE THANKS TO HIS BOSS’ GENEROSITY AND CALIFORNIA THIN - December 18, 2008—Cerritos, CA

Marshall Ford Before Sleeve Gastrectomy Weight Loss Surgery at CaliforniaThin.comIn this economically chilly holiday season, heartwarming acts of generosity are especially valuable. 39 year-old Marshall Ford, part-time rapper (who goes by “Massive”) has been showcased with some of the most noted recording artists in the business. “I’ve worked with Snoop Dogg, Kurupt, Roger Troutman of Zapp, Mellow Man Ace, Nino Brown, and Sen Dog from Cypress Hill,” said Ford, who grew up in Watts. Marshall, who is also a full time caregiver to those with mental challenges, says this holiday will be his most special, thanks to the generosity of his boss. He is not getting extra vacation time, or a raise. Instead, his boss has paid for a life-saving surgery to reduce Marshall’s 649 pound frame. The Los Angeles father of three underwent sleeve gastrectomy surgery on Tuesday, November 25 at a hospital in Orange County, all due to an altruistic gesture of someone who cared. In less than three weeks, Marshall has already lost (49) pounds, and is on his way to his achieving goal weight.

But Ford said that he had always grappled with his weight, which before his life changing surgery had climbed to 649 pounds. “I’ve been heavy all my life,” admitted Ford. “As a kid, I ate lots of junk food–sodas, cup cakes and candy.” Ford said that his bad eating habits were formed in childhood. “One of the ways people showed they cared in our family was to say, ‘Here, let me fix you a meal’ or ‘Here, go and get yourself a soda.’ It was a way of communicating without saying, I love you.”

Even though his weight continued to spiral out of control, Ford said that he liked to cook and was ‘hooked’ on savory dishes and tasty treats. “I liked to eat stewed chicken, beans and rice, and lemon, chocolate and cheese cakes. And of course, I was raised on a lot of soul food like chitlin’s, pigs’ feet, greens, and corn bread.” As the pounds continued to pile on, Ford found it more and more difficult to pursue his daily activities. He grappled with heavy breathing and perspiration.

Marshall Ford Sleeve Gastrectomy Patient CaliforniaThin.comFord said that his circumstances changed the day his boss, Lou Pena, spotted him walking to the office one morning. “He thought my car had broken down,” recalled Ford. “He stopped me and asked, ‘Are you okay?’ He didn’t realize that I was trying to get some exercise.” Pena asked Ford if he had ever thought about undergoing bariatric surgery. “He told me to investigate the surgical procedures available for losing weight and to get back to him.

"I went online and began checking out different programs.” Ford said that he found a company called California Thin located in Cerritos, California; they had a gifted surgeon, Dr. Joseph Naim M.D. “I called and I started talking to a woman named Machelle. She really seemed like she cared and took the time to talk with me.” When Ford told his boss about California Thin, they submitted a request for medical insurance to cover the surgery. “The initial price of the surgery was $30,000, but unfortunately my insurance company turned down my request,” recalled Ford.

Ford’s boss surprised him when he announced that he would pay for the operation. “Then Dr. Naim, who was to do the surgery, said he would pay the remaining cost donating his time, services and fees. It was truly a blessing.” The surgery seemed to come just in time. “When Dr. Naim saw me he informed me that I was way past the morbid obesity stage, that I was super obese,” said Ford. “According to the doctors, I wasn’t expected to live long.” Ford was placed on a liquid diet two weeks before the operation. “I couldn’t eat solid food, I could only drink liquids,” said Ford. “I also had to go through a psychiatric evaluation, a blood test, and a cardiology test to see if I was stable enough to have the surgery. I also consulted with a nutritionist.” Ford revealed that he was a bit apprehensive when he was admitted to Tri City Hospital on Nov. 25. “When they wheeled me into the operating room, I kept thinking, ‘I hope I don’t die’ because I had previously undergone three hernia surgeries.

Marshall in the hospital for a sleeve gastrectomy weight loss surgery procedure.Before the operation, Ford was placed under anesthesia. “During the operation, they cut a section of my stomach out and shaped the remaining part into something that looks like a small banana,” said Ford, who said the four-hour surgery was performed the same day he was admitted to the hospital. Dr. Joseph Naim said that the sleeve gastrectomy surgery is a relatively new procedure. “The results are much better than the old gastric band procedure, and it is safer than a gastric bypass,” he pointed out. “We do a keyhole incision where 80% of the stomach is removed. But because it is done through a keyhole incision in the body, the recovery is very fast and very safe.”

Marshall Ford Sleeve Gastrectomy PatientA week after surgery, Ford stated that he was back to work and that 46 pounds have already melted away. “Right now, I eat a lot of soup and soft foods, but no bread, rice or potatoes. I eat very small portions,” said Ford, who said he suffered no complications after the surgery.
Ford said that once the weight drops off, he is looking forward to participating in regular activities. “I just want to go back and ride bikes again, to perform in shows and get on stage and not worry about the platform falling off.”

This procedure has affected both patient and surgeon alike. For this fledgling rap star, the hope of being able to play with his children and regain his life is something he has yet to fully comprehend. “I’ve been this size so long and faced so many disappointments as a result of my weight that the thought of a new life is beyond my imagination. I am so thankful to everyone who has elected to help me get a new start.”

Marshall Ford Sleeve Gastrectomy Weight Loss Surgery Procedure Patient CaliforniaThin.comDr. Naim also has high hopes for Marshall’s future. He notes that while surgery is a giant step forward, he will still have to overcome many obstacles and changes.

“I think he’ll do very well. This surgery will give him the confidence to be a successful musician, and excel in all other aspects of his life. Hopefully now the only massive thing about Marshall will be his career!”

Dr. H. Joseph Naim is a board certified general surgeon at California Thin in Cerritos California, and is an assistant professor of surgery at the University of California, Irvine. He is experienced in minimally invasive surgery of the gastrointestinal system. He has extensive training in weight loss surgery, including laparoscopic gastric bypass, revision of gastric bypass and gastric banding. Dr. Naim earned his medical degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, with distinction in research. He completed a fellowship in minimally invasive bariatric surgery at University Medical Center at Princeton.

 

Disclaimer: California Thin is an independent service offered by BCCI, Inc. It is meant to be an educational site that offers patients information to help them investigate weight loss surgery. Although the site has been reviewed for accuracy, BCCI, Inc. cannot be held liable for inaccurate data or conclusions drawn from the site. Neither information obtained from this site nor e-mailed correspondence from BCCI, Inc. constitutes a doctor/patient relationship. This web site cannot be considered a doctor's opinion for your situation and is not a substitute for medical evaluation and counsel. Any health care providers listed here are private, independent practitioners.
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