'Starving Obese' Girl Drops 33 Lbs.

Alexis Shapiro 'giggling, happy,' once again, still fights hunger

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted May 27, 2014 6:35 AM CDT

(Newser) – After 12-year-old Alexis Shapiro had surgery to fight obesity, her doctor expected her to lose 40 pounds in the ensuing months. Two months later, she's already lost 33, NBC News reports. "She’s the giggling, happy little girl I remember," says her mother. What's more, the procedure appears to have reversed Alexis' diabetes, and her enlarged liver has shrunk. "I would say that she's really right on track," says her doctor, who reports doing a "happy dance" each month as Alexis continues to lose weight.

The obesity surgery followed an operation years earlier to get rid of a benign brain tumor; half of kids who have the tumor surgery end up with damage to the pituitary gland and hypothalamus. It left Alexis unable to control intense hunger. That situation had appeared to be improving, but her mother notes that recently, Alexis has once again been "asking about dinner at breakfast." This week, her weight stayed at 170 pounds, and her doctor says her weight loss could slow or halt. But doctors plan "to use every trick in the book,” to help her. “I told her mom, ‘Don’t feel like we’re out of angles here.'" Click for more on Alexis' case.

A screen shot from NBC video of Alexis.   (NBC News video)
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