‘I’m just so pleased to be back out on Dartmoor!’ says keen Letterboxer, John.
John Young 73, had been walking the rolling hills of Dartmoor with his wife for 20 years. But when his knee became too painful to continue, he knew he had to do something about it.
John is part of a large community of Letterboxers; walkers who take out their rubber stamps, map, and compass to follow clues to find boxes hidden away on Dartmoor. Each box they find offers rubber stamps to collect. It’s a highly addictive way to keep active and John has been taking part for years.
Unfortunately, John’s knee pain had become so chronic he needed two crutches to get about and an x-ray revealed he was ‘bone-on-bone’.
“My GP told me I could be waiting two and a half years for knee surgery on the NHS…I made up my mind that private treatment was the best option for me to get back on with life.”John Young, knee surgery patient with Practice Plus Group Hospital, Plymouth
He said: “My GP told me that I needed knee surgery and estimated I could be waiting 2 ½ years for NHS treatment. I was fortunate enough to have some money put aside so I made up my mind that private treatment was the best option for me to get back on with life.”
After being recommended Practice Plus Group Hospital, Plymouth by a few other fellow Letterboxers, he decided to make an appointment to see a consultant.
Read more about knee surgery in Plymouth
He said: “I was so pleased as they were able to make an appointment with my consultant and get my pre-op assessment done on the same day. It’s a 60-70 mile trip to the hospital from my home in Cornwall so it saved me a journey. Although I had some medical issues that were being managed, the staff were happy with my assessment and I was offered surgery the following week.”
John’s surgery went smoothly and he felt the pain was managed well with the painkillers he was given to go home with.
“The staff were great and the follow-up was really good; I received regular phone calls with the nurses and consultant.”John Young, knee surgery patient with Practice Plus Group Hospital, Plymouth
John added: “I thought the staff were great and the follow-up was really good. I received regular telephones calls from the nurses and consultant. I was offered physio but I had been getting on so well on the static bike at home and cycling 5kms a day that I haven’t even needed it so far.”
John was on a single walking stick within a week of his surgery and is looking forward to his regular Letterboxing across Dartmoor again with his wife.
He said: “I’m delighted as I am able to get to the bi-annual meet-up on Sunday, when the clocks move. It only happens in March and October so I’m glad to not miss this one, when we can get issued with more clues.”
John is continuing with his recovery and back enjoying his hobbies and part time work, pain-free again.