Surgery transforms lives of couple touched by Parkinson’s disease

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Maxine Woodgate from Street, Somerset was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 18 years ago.

She and her husband Pete have lived with the condition all these years, so when Max’s knee became so bad that she couldn’t get about it made life very difficult.

“Max was pretty much dependent on a wheelchair,” said Pete. “Her left knee became so bad that it couldn’t bear her weight – it gave way in a fall at home resulting in a broken wrist which needed surgery.”

After some to-ing and fro-ing in the system, Max and Pete’s GP referred them to Shepton Mallet NHS Treatment Centre for a complete knee replacement.

Pete said: “Initially we thought that the treatment centre couldn’t take Max because of her Parkinson’s, but this turned out not to be the case and they could treat her after all. We would’ve gone there sooner if we’d known, because the care and treatment have been amazing.”

“From our first appointment to the post operation follow-ups we’ve been made to feel important and like family. The team has been superb, really taking the time to get to know Max and her condition and making sure that every precaution was taken before, during and after surgery. For example, physiotherapist Lawrence made sure that Max was capable of doing the exercises needed before and after her operation.”

“When we got to the ward the staff were so good that I was immediately confident that Max was in good hands. I was able to leave pleased that those caring for her understood what was needed when treating someone with Parkinson’s. They made what could’ve been a very tricky experience plain sailing and positive for us both, and for that we are extremely grateful.”

Max was in hospital for four days and now, approximately a month later, she’s more mobile than she has been for years.

Pete continued: “It’s the first time we have been able to walk together side-by-side for years and we feel that our life is where it should be – and you can’t ask for more than that, can you? We tell everyone how wonderful the care is at Shepton Mallet NHS Treatment Centre – Max always says it’s more like a hotel than a hospital – and we would recommend it to anyone. It’s certainly helped to transform our life for the better.”

Chester Barnes, hospital director at Shepton Mallet NHS Treatment Centre, said: “Pete was kind enough to leave a super post on our Facebook page and we’re extremely grateful to Maxine and him for sharing their story. We’re certainly delighted to have been able to deliver a level and quality of care with which Maxine and Pete are happy.”

“Their case is an example of a popular misconception about us. We assess every patient who comes to us and we can accommodate a range of needs – not just people who are physically fit.”

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