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Jackie, knee replacement patient

I’ve been really fortunate to have all these activities near me, and fortunate that I’m able to do them.

jackie helms, full body portrait

I feel blessed to be here. In early 2018 a car ran into mine. The passenger of my car and the passenger of the other car were killed immediately, and the driver of the other car eventually passed away, too. So, I’m the only survivor. I had to get my lower right leg amputated because of the injuries. But I have a whole new outlook on life and how precious things are.

I have a prosthetic leg and a cane and do pretty well getting around. I’ve had to learn how to do things differently, and how to get this leg on and off. And then, of course, there’s my good leg. That’s the knee I had to have replaced. The doctor said it was due to age - just wear and tear, and also because I had to put so much extra weight on it since I lost my other leg. But it just didn’t feel right and was painful.

Dr. Lisle Whitman at Bristol Regional Medical Center is excellent. Everybody at the office is nice and kind. It’s wonderful when you go to the doctor and don’t have to wait an hour for your appointment.

Since having the surgery, I have a lot less pain and discomfort, and I can get around a lot better. Now, I can keep up with her busy social calendar and stay on the go.

I am a retired registered nurse. My last gig was home nursing. It’s incredible to go into someone’s home. It’s very rewarding to help people. I’ve made a lot of friendships and met a lot of people I’ll never forget. I was a nurse for 15 years in Abingdon, Virginia, before I retired. Not long after that, I moved to Grundy to live with my son and daughter-in-law. They’re very busy so I take care of my grand dogs, Nikki and Preston.

Since having the surgery, I have a lot less pain and discomfort, and I can get around a lot better. Now, I can keep up with her busy social calendar and stay on the go.

Two days of the week I go to PACE, a community program for elderly and disabled adults. There’re all kinds of people there. I’ve met some wonderful friends. We do a lot of activities like playing Bingo and going on trips to places like the fair. On Wednesdays, I’ve got a good women’s group at church that I attend. And on Fridays I have lunch with a couple of neighbors. We call ourselves the screaming Democrats. It’s a lot of fun.

I haven’t been able to drive just yet, and I hope to be able to do that one day. But I’ve been able to get around pretty well and have a good life in spite of it all. I’ve been really fortunate to have all these activities near me, and fortunate that I’m able to do them.


Is knee replacement for you?

If you think surgery might help you get moving again – like it did for Dale – learn more about total knee replacement here.