"I look in the mirror, and I see who I am, and I think: 'Gosh, is my face really this small?" Saxon said.
For 30 years, a different face stared back at her.
"My heaviest was 235 pounds," Saxon said. "I could not bend over to tie my shoes. I could not walk. My diabetes was totally out of control. My blood pressure was sky high.
"I was like an airplane getting ready to crash. I thought: 'I don't want to live if I've got to live this way.'"
Saxon decided to try a surgical weight-loss procedure called gastric bypass. A year later, she is nearly 100 pounds lighter, results she felt she could never achieve through diet and exercise.
Dr. Alan Brader said this is a serious body alteration.
The risks of such a new procedure prompted WakeMed to cancel its program
, and Brader is shopping for a new hospital.
But for Saxon and her family, it was worth the risk.
For more of this story, watch WRAL News tonight at 11
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