Lori King has a new lease on life thanks to the care she received from Dr. Paul Dooley, orthopedic surgeon at Vernon Jubilee Hospital.
King was only 45-years-old when she was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in her knees and discovered that she would need to have two partial knee replacements. She was referred to Dooley who worked with King to come up with the best course of action.
“Getting this diagnosis was truly devastating. I thought this only happened when were much older. How would I play sports anymore? King said.
King’s life was impacted dramatically. As an accomplished baseball player, King was used to an active lifestyle and not being able to perform simple daily tasks was difficult. Just holding her purse put too much pressure on her joints. She could not even pick up her new grandson.
“Being younger in age, it was hard for my family to comprehend what was happening to me,” King said. “I began to walk crooked, which in turn affected my entire body. The most difficult part to deal with was chronic pain. It gets worse and worse. It’s all-consuming. You get depressed and can’t work. It never leaves you.”
In 2014, Dooley performed a uni-compartmental or partial, knee replacement on King’s right knee.
“I felt relief from the chronic pain on that side right away. I was given a new lease on life,” King said.
King said it took her about a year of recovery to get her right knee back to normal. She later received a second partial knee replacement on her left knee.
“Dooley gave me my life back. He is truly a gifted surgeon,” King said.
King will eventually need to get full replacements in both of her knees. Right now, she’s enjoying life to the fullest, spending time with her family and keeping up with her grandchildren.
“I have been golfing and got into tubing this winter,” she said. “If I could share one thing, it is that we all need to support one another. Living with chronic pain is tough. If you are waiting to get surgery, I would tell you to be patient and to prepare. Life is waiting for you.”
Many people in the North Okanagan are in a similar situation and need the community’s help. Vernon Jubilee Hospital has reached surgical capacity as the population continues to grow and age. Both of these factors have increased the demand for surgery.
The Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation is raising money to help alleviate patient wait times, Donations can be made to the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation’s campaign, OPERATION: Surgical Care for Life to help provide VJH surgeons with the equipment needed to perform more surgeries.
Donations can be made online at www.vjhfoundation.org, by phone at 250-558-1362 or mail.