A father’s journey: From grief to transformation


Scott Garner faced his moment of truth when his wife died, leaving him as the sole caregiver for their two children. Not only was he grief-stricken, he also was struggling with some serious health challenges.

At the time, the Dover man weighed about 380 pounds, though his weight previously had ballooned up to 450 pounds. Scott was working on losing weight through diet and exercise, but his wife’s death lent added urgency to his battle.

“All alone with my two kids, I knew I couldn’t wait,” he says. “I needed to get my health under control now because I was all they had left. I wanted to be there for them and hopefully one day my grandkids.”

In March 2023, Scott had bariatric surgery at WellSpan York Hospital, performed by Dr. Faiz Shariff. Bariatric, or weight-loss surgery, is designed for patients who have a BMI of 35 or more and have struggled losing weight with diet and exercise.

Scott’s surgery marked the beginning of a journey that was full of self-discovery.

“What surprised me about myself was that I found my willpower is unmatched and I possess a sense of determination I never thought I had,” he says.

After his surgery, Scott continued his journey of weight loss by hitting the gym and engaging in activities that included his kids. He is the first to point out that his weight loss journey took considerable effort.

“It is challenging, both physically and mentally,” he says, “one of the hardest things I did in my life.”

With hard work and dedication, Scott has lost almost 230 pounds.

The positive impact of Scott’s newfound health has radiated through his family. His two kids – now a high school student and a young adult – have embraced the great outdoors with him, hiking and kayaking together. The bond between father and children has grown stronger with each shared experience, as has the joy they found in their newfound active lifestyle.

Reflecting on his journey, Scott’s advice to potential bariatric surgery candidates includes being honest, both with yourself and with a psychologist who does an evaluation of patients before surgery.

“If you are not ready to make some big changes in your life and your behavior, you are not ready for this,” he says. “Weight-loss surgery is just a tool. Like any tool, you need to use it and in turn you will get what you put into it.”

He encourages others to embrace the journey, to put in the work, and to never lose sight of their goals. The rewards are limitless.

As Scott and his children continue to create new memories together, their shared adventures serve as a constant reminder of the strength that lies within them. Through the pain and loss, they have emerged as a united force, embracing life’s challenges head-on and cherishing every moment of their newfound vitality.

“It was my kids that kept me motivated,” he says. “It’s my desire to NEVER GO BACK.”

Want to start your own journey? Go here for information about our bariatric surgery services.

Are you enjoying local news?

First Month 99¢

Already a subscriber? Login here.