In 2004, a car accident left Jeremy with injuries that have caused him years of intense pain. Only 24 at the time of the accident, he spent several years undergoing multiple surgeries to treat his injuries, but none of the operations helped, leaving Jeremy physically exhausted and emotionally broken.

“I got hooked on opiate painkillers,” Jeremy says. “When I met my wife, I was not truthful with her about my addiction. But had I been honest, I may have avoided the problems that followed.”

Jeremy was taking the opiates to manage his pain and eating excessive amounts of food to mask the effects of the medication.

“I could not be zoned out all of the time,” Jeremy says. “The food kept me from getting too high.”

However, the additional calories caused Jeremy to gain roughly 150 pounds in three years.

“I was tired from being so heavy, so I started taking Adderall to stay awake,” Jeremy says. “Mixing that medication with the opiates almost blew my heart out.”

Specifically, the medications caused frightening cardiac complications.

“One night, Jeremy’s heart was racing, and he was exhibiting erratic behavior, so we went to WHS Washington Hospital,” says Jeremy’s wife, Mindy Zatta. “That hospital stay helped Jeremy realize he needed to make changes to have a better life.”

Once Jeremy and his medical team worked through his clinical issues, Jeremy began going to the WHS Wilfred R. Cameron Wellness Center. Weighing 350 pounds on his first visit, Jeremy started his fitness regimen slowly, walking or using the elliptical machine for five minutes each day and eventually working up to regular workouts with degreed exercise physiologists.

In a matter of two years, Jeremy lost 113 pounds and found himself with a renewed state of mind.

“I realize everything I have been through is a process,” Jeremy says. “Everyone at WHS has shown me how to love myself and convinced me that I am worth fighting for.”

“Recovery is not just physical—it’s a comprehensive journey. That’s why our four-pillar training, provided by EXOS, educates our members about the importance of Mindset, Nutrition, Movement and Recovery,” says Debra Roytas, Executive Director of the WHS Wilfred R. Cameron Wellness Center.