Paul Hadley, 55, is one of Taylorville Memorial Hospital’s biggest fans. For starters, the team in the Emergency Department saved his life when he came in with heart pain at age 50. Five years later, he was back for a total right knee replacement through Memorial JointWorks.
“When they said I could have the surgery done here in Taylorville, I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “I was very impressed and then excited that I could also have the rehab therapy done here, too. They always take great care of me.”
Hadley, a welder supervisor for Jack Kennedy Metal products, works a four day weekly shift putting in ten hours a day. He spends most of each day on his feet. When the pain in his knee started to keep him awake at night, he tried cortisone shots but the relief only lasted seven days at a time.
He met with Jeffrey Schopp, orthopedic surgeon, who explained the process of knee replacement surgery and gave him exercises to complete at home prior to surgery. He and his wife, Tammy, took a four-hour class led by Maggie Rice, RN, and JointWorks educator, who answered questions and explained what to expect at home following surgery and the outpatient rehabilitation process.
“Paul has indeed overcome several obstacles in his life at such a young age,” Rice said, “so it comes as no surprise that he's excelled so well since his total knee replacement. He came to the class with motivation and left with determination that he'd succeed; and he has.”
That determination was evident a few hours after surgery. Instead of requiring a walker, he was able to use a cane in those first walks around the hospital. He went to rehab twice a week for a month with Krista L. Gooding, PT, followed by weekly visits to rehab therapy.
“I wasn’t sure about needing rehab but now I’m 100 percent behind it,” Hadley said. “Krista’s great. It seemed like I would go in feeling stiff, and when I was done, I felt better. Each session was an improvement.”
He returned to work part-time by the fifth week following his surgery and resumed his fulltime duties by week seven. Fully recovered, he went bicycling with his six-year-old and three-year-old grandsons, helped shingle a neighbor’s roof, built a deck and went hunting.
Hadley offers the following advice for others who struggle with debilitating knee pain: “I’m able to sleep all night, and I can get around without taking all the pain medication I was on before. Go get it done. The benefits after are so much better.”