A member’s tale
Unable to access the surgery she needed after a road accident, Caroline Reeves found the life-changing help she needed through her Benenden membership. This summer she is walking the North Downs and pledging half her sponsorship to the Benenden Charitable Trust.
Caroline 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 mobilising with 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.
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’ time, which was devastating news.
Having been a Benenden member since 2006, I contacted Benenden and was able to arrange a consultation with Mr Kumar Reddy. After doing an MRI, he advised me that I needed a knee replacement. I was referred via the NHS and was able to have this procedure at Benenden Hospital as an NHS patient on 22 November 2014.
Since that day my life has completely 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.
Although I can never ride a motorbike again, I have managed to rekindle my love of walking. Last year I was introduced to the Rotary Club of the Weald of Kent North Downs Cancer Research sponsored walk, on the Downs near Harrietsham, and completed a nine-mile walk.
This year, I have set myself a challenge to walk a total of 18 miles and donate 50% of my sponsorship to Benenden Charitable Trust, as a thank you for Benenden playing a huge part in changing my life.
To sponsor Caroline visit www.justgiving.com/carolinereevesnorthdownswalk