When Keith Selle walked into the Foundation office, you would never have guessed he had a full knee replacement just 8 weeks ago. Mr. Selle was prepared to wait for his surgery in the city but with the opening of the Regional Orthopaedic program in January, his surgery and his recovery were fast forwarded.
“Although it was a big decision to have the surgery, the medical team from Dr. Radovanovic, to the nurses and anesthesiologists were amazing and I felt well informed and well prepared. We are so fortunate to have such expertise right in our own backyard.”
“All the follow-up appointments can be done right here at the Pembroke Regional Hospital, so what would have been a half day trip to Ottawa, is now a 15 minute appointment”, said Keith Selle. “Being able to have the surgery in Pembroke takes away the burden. I would like to say a special thank you to the surgical staff, nurses and the rehab unit for a job well done. Their efforts helped to procure a speedy recovery.”
Marie Mask, Capital Campaign Administrator at the Algonquin College in Pembroke, was the second patient to undergo surgery at Pembroke Regional Hospital’s new Orthopaedic wing. In September, Marie was assessed by the Queensway Carleton hospital and informed that she needed a partial knee replacement. Surprised by the news, Marie had to make a quick decision, especially when she found out there was availability to have it done at PRH in January. “It would have been a year long wait if they hadn’t opened the Orthopaedic wing in Pembroke”, Marie said.
After meeting Dr. Chris de Jesus, Marie felt reassured, as Dr. de Jesus’ specialty is knee surgery. Dr. de Jesus and his staff were wonderful and always pleasant. “I never worried if I had any questions. They were great in explaining everything to me.”
Marie stayed at the hospital a few days longer than planned post-surgery, due to sensitivity to narcotics. However, the rest of her recovery has been quicker than anticipated: she was able to return to work one month early, and right from the get-go, her knee felt bionic. It was such a dramatic improvement from before the surgery. Marie cannot thank the girls in rehab enough: “I looked forward to going to rehab twice a week.”
The other plus to having orthopaedics available in our community is the fact that any follow up can be done right here in Pembroke as well. “Before, you would have had to drive 2 hours for a 10 minute follow up appointment. Now it’s right in town!” Marie said. Not only does it save patients the time and money to travel back and forth, but travelling in a car post knee surgery can be quite uncomfortable.
The Pembroke Regional Hospital Foundation’s new Cutting Edge Campaign will be financing the new Orthopaedic equipment, and the second part of the Campaign will be modernizing the circa 1950 surgical in-patient rooms, including the Day Surgery area. The overhaul of our Surgical Patient Rooms will address the safety and functionality of the current rooms, which was welcome news to Marie.
When Marie first arrived at the hospital for the surgery, their only available beds were in the day surgery wing, which was quite packed and cramped. A semi-private room became available by the time the surgery was done, but there were still 4 patients sharing one bathroom. With help from the community via the Cutting Edge Campaign, the surgical patient rooms will be revamped, enhancing the patient experience post-surgery.
Marie highly recommends the orthopaedic program in Pembroke and tells future patients not to think twice about coming to Pembroke for orthopaedic surgery: “It was terrific!”
“I awoke with a terrible burning (sensation) in my hands and feet; they really hurt. We tried everything but when nothing helped the pain, we headed to the emergency department at PRH. I saw a couple of doctors, had a chest x-ray and blood taken (yuck).”
“The x-ray showed that I had pneumonia and my pain was a post viral arthralgia (joint pain).”
“The doctors suggested warm water soaks and that really helped me. I also had to take some bad tasting antibiotics but the good part was that I got to miss school; unfortunately I also had to miss hockey. I was so happy when the burning finally stopped. Two thumbs up to the great doctors and nurses who figured out my problem and thanks for calling when I was back home.”
In 2004, I suddenly lose the use of my right leg.
In 2004, my youngest in Grade 6, four children and a husband; life was extremely busy.
In 2004, I learned had Multiple Sclerosis.
This diagnosis was confirmed and made possible through an MRI.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is the “invisible” disease. A limp can be from a leg injury, if I don’t talk too much you will not notice the slurring of my words, pain management medication masks any pain, and I work from home so I can take breaks when needed. Our goal is to keep my life as stress free as possible to keep symptoms at bay.
I am blessed to have my family’s support.
For the last 11 years I receive an MRI every two years, with more scans in-between after a relapse of symptoms. An MRI of the brain and spine is the only method of identifying progression of MS in patients. The clinic at the Ottawa General Hospital is very excited to have an MRI in this area since a large number of their patient care is for people in the Champlain area.
I am very thankful for the support this cause received from people of our area. MRI’s, for me, have been scheduled between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. at several locations in Ottawa. Having this technology accessible and nearby is a tremendous leap forward. It removes the stress of getting to the appointment, and reduces the guilt that my husband is going to be exhausted the next day from being by my side.
My next MRI was in Pembroke – closer to home. It was a great experience; from the professional staff to the ease of travel, and time of the appointment.