Surgeon Mary Brandt says Nathaniel's health problems could become life-threatening without treatment. "A lot of people view bariatric surgery as treating obesity," she says. "But for teenagers in particular, it's actually treating the consequences of the obesity. Nathaniel has the kind of co-morbidities that we think will kill him eventually if he doesn't have treatment."
Cameras followed Nathanial as he went into the operating room to undergo the irreversible procedure. From the waiting area, Connie worries about her son. "It doesn't matter how old he is, how big he is, you know. He's my baby, so I worry, but I really believe that everything's going to be fine."
After a successful operation, Nathaniel is in good spirits. "I feel good. The pain from the surgery's not that bad; I'm just sore," he says. "It's been fun."