Former patients celebrate their good health

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)-St. Bernards held its annual Total Knee and Joint Replacement reunion on Wednesday in their auditorium.

There past patients got the chance to mingle with their doctors and others who had experienced similar surgeries.

Paragould resident, Dan Hendrix, says he has been going to this annual reunion every year since his own surgery.

Hendrix had his left hip replaced in 2007 and then came back to St. Bernards for a second time in 2010 for the same problem, this time in his right hip.

He says he returns each year to celebrate his life.

"I'm doing fantastic, other than gaining some weight, " Hendrix jokingly remarked. "But that's not from my hips, that's from being lazy. My hips are just great."

The medical staff that worked so hard to get these people back on their feet say they enjoy seeing the former patients just as much.

Orthopedic surgeon, Dr. John Ball, says the reunion is great.

"This is a social event where for our patients and us to come back together and celebrate their recovery with them."

Dr. John Woloszyn is also an orthopedic surgeon with St. Bernards.

He says getting to see patients after surgery is one of the best gifts you could give a doctor.

"As a physician, to meet with patients after the fact," Woloszyn said "Having them healed, that's one of an orthopedics most gratifying things is see them."

It's a joyous time for the physical therapists and nurses who helped them, as well.

Orthopedic nurse, Tammy Newby, says following up with their patients is crucial.

"It's really important for us to meet with the patients afterward, " Newby said. "To come together and see them and how they've progressed after their surgery."

Newby says seeing patients she has helped doing well confirms she's in the right business.

"It just reinforces the fact that I love what I do, as a nurse. I love my profession. It's being able to touch someone's life forever."

This is the seventh year to hold this event.

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