The Best Decision for a Big Change

Aug 2, 2023


Cassidy Tyre had struggled with her weight her entire life. At just age 12, she was diagnosed with epilepsy. That proved challenging to her weight in several ways. “Food was comfort,” she explains. “And weight gain was a side effect of my medications.”

No matter what she tried, nothing moved the needle. She consulted with her primary care team and tried appetite-suppressing medications. Even an epilepsy medication known to suppress appetite didn’t help. “I tried a year of keto. I tried a year of a food elimination diet,” Cassie recalls. “I would lose a little, and it would come back. Nothing was working.”

“One of my friends had gastric sleeve surgery with great success,” Cassie says. She asked her doctor, who referred her to a cardiologist who said Cassie was a good candidate for the gastric sleeve.

Cassie felt some initial unhappiness realizing she needed surgery to help with her weight. Then she decided to move forward and met with the OHSU bariatric program. That’s how she found out about Dr. Robert Stucke, who works with the OHSU program to offer bariatric surgery at Adventist Health Portland.

She was super nervous and poured herself into a lot of research, so she came to her first appointment very prepared. “I absolutely peppered them with questions,” she remembers. “That first appointment I met Nikki [Davis], the nurse navigator, and Dr. Stucke. Both of them were incredibly helpful and answered every question I had.”

Nikki, who is also the program manager, even gave Cassie her number to call if she had any questions. Cassie recognized the bariatric team really wanted her to be sure this was the right decision for her.

Cassie was convinced, so she entered the program and embraced its rigorous preparation for surgery. Her presurgery program included appointments with nurse practitioners, dietitians, physical therapists and psychologists. Through weight-loss classes she learned how she needed to eat after surgery to stay healthy and keep her weight-loss on track.

The big day arrived and, as Cassie recalls, “Everything went really well, and the whole team made me feel comfortable on the day of my surgery.” Her anesthesiologist met with her before surgery and made her feel even more comfortable. Nikki stopped by too. Cassie’s surgery went smoothly and soon she was back to a new normal for her life.

“It’s definitely been life-changing,” she says. “Living a healthy lifestyle is a big adjustment, but it absolutely was the best decision for me and my health.”

Cassie says she’s lost about 80 pounds so far. Her confidence has gone up, and she enjoys being able to walk into a store and just buy clothes. With less stress about her weight, Cassie’s seizures have eased. And while she used to weigh herself every single day before surgery, she’s now focused on feeling healthy. “Dr. Stucke and Nikki definitely helped me change that,” she says. “They’ve been instrumental about changing my life.”

While she still struggles with body dysmorphia and sometimes worries she really hasn’t lost weight, Cassie hasn’t felt alone. Her bariatric team is still there for her. “They are a great resource,” she explains.

For anyone considering weight-loss surgery, Cassie’s advice is clear. “Do your research and don’t let outside contributors who aren’t in the health care field to make the decision for you,” she advises. “Get all your questions answers. Take the process beforehand really seriously, and lean into the team.”

To learn more about Cassie’s bariatric team, visit
or call (503) 256-1575.