Surgery transforms lives of couple touched by Parkinson’s disease

Maxine (Max) 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.

July 8 2016

Surgery transforms lives of couple touched by Parkinson’s disease

“Max was pretty much dependent on a wheelchair,” said Pete. “Her left knee became so bad that it could not 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 the 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 have gone there sooner if we’d known, because the care and treatment have been amazing.”

Pete continued:

“From our first appointment to the post operation follow-ups we have been made to feel important and like family. The Shepton team have 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.”

He added:

“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 have 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, a month or so later, she is more mobile than she has been for years.

“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, commented:

“Pete was kind enough to leave a super post on our Facebook page and we are extremely grateful to Maxine and him for sharing their story. We are certainly delighted to have been able to deliver a level and quality of care with which Maxine and Pete are happy.”

He added:

“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. It’s always worth having the conversation with your GP and us.”

Shepton Mallet NHS Treatment Centre is part of the local choice of care for NHS patients.  If you would like to be referred to the treatment centre but are concerned about any underlying health conditions, speak to your GP and they will contact the treatment centre.