90-year-old Rotherham man back at church and pain free after surgery

A 90-year-old from Rotherham is back enjoying his life, pain-free and with a new knee, after his first ever hospital stay, and his family are delighted with the care he received.

Michael Tierney, from Parkgate, had been living in pain for several years as arthritis eroded his knee joint. The pain made it hard to sleep and he began to socialise less. He said: “I attend St Bede’s and St Mary’s Roman Catholic Churches in Rotherham, as well as the Cathedral in Sheffield, but I was able to go less and less, as the pain developed. I was worried that, in the end, I would not be able to attend at all.

“A number of people had commented that I had begun to drag my leg as I walked, and my doctor said it was time to have surgery.”

Mr Tierney’s daughter, Linda Peace, said: “It was a worrying time for all of us. He had never been in hospital and at 90 the thought of undergoing surgery was a concern.”

The family went for a pre-assessment for a knee replacement at Barlborough NHS Treatment Centre. Mrs Peace said: “The consultant and anaesthetist were very reassuring and explained what would happen. They explained that Dad’s overall good health meant he met the criteria for having the operation, which was very reassuring.

“We also met with the physiotherapist who explained what would happen after the operation. They were all absolutely fantastic. I felt a lot more confident after meeting them.”

Mr Tierney sailed through the operation. Usually, knee replacement patients return home after two and half days, but Mr Tierney stayed with the team at the centre for a week.

He said: “They could not do enough for me.  I felt very well cared for and the food was very good – it was like a holiday!”

Mrs Peace said: “He worked with the physiotherapist, but because he is 90, it was taking longer for him to be able to coordinate with the walking frame. I was so reassured that they kept him in while he grew stronger and worked with the physios. And he was very happy to be there.”

Within three weeks Mr Tierney was walking with a walking stick and within six weeks he was walking to church without any aids. He said: “It is wonderful. I have been able to get back to doing the things I love. I am very fortunate to have such a supportive family and I was lucky to have such wonderful care at the treatment centre.”

Mrs Peace said: “It is amazing he is back to his old self. He had become withdrawn with the pain and I was worried that he would become isolated. We certainly don’t have to worry about that anymore.”

Hospital director Steve Booker said: “Age, in itself, is not a bar to surgery. All our patients under go medical tests to ensure they are suitable for surgery and our clinical and physiotherapy team work with them to ensure they have the best possible results before they return home.

“I am very happy that Mr Tierney is back doing the things that are important to him. He charmed the team when he was here and we were delighted to support him back to health.”