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Caroline walks into her new life

When her local hospital told Caroline Reeves she was too young for knee surgery, Benenden stepped in. She tells her story.

In June 2004, I had a motorcycle accident that left me with severe injuries to my right knee and back.
Over the next 10 years, I went from getting around on crutches to having to use a wheelchair most of the time due to chronic arthritic pain, while still managing to work full-time.

In the end, the pain and reduced quality of life became so bad that my GP referred me to my local hospital for an MRI scan and orthopaedic consultant opinion.

But I was not given an MRI and was told that at 39 there was nothing they could do – as I was too young –and to come back in about seven years, which was devastating news.

Having been a Benenden member since 2006, I contacted Benenden who agreed to a second opinion and that is when I met Mr Kumar Reddy.

After doing an MRI, he advised me that I needed a knee replacement, which I had on 22 November 2014. Since that day my life has changed, and I can now walk independently with no pain in my knee. Although I still have a back injury, I have been able to reduce my pain medication and have a much better quality of life.

I cannot thank Mr Reddy and the staff enough for the care I received –and for being instrumental in giving me my life back. Benenden Hospital is also very close to my heart as my grandad, James Cecil Luckhurst, was the Benenden Hospital barber for more than 50 years.

I have even had the pleasure of seeing his memorabilia on display in the Benenden Hospital museum. My nan was also a patient at Benenden for cancer treatment.