Peter Gailey of Simsbury is an active 58-year old, a proud “aggressive exerciser,” who  found himself suffering from considerable knee pain

“It felt like knives were being stuck into both of my knees,” he said. But Peter was adamant about avoiding surgery.

He tried injections, without relief. On vacation in Europe, he was so bothered by the pain that he had difficulty walking. He was forced to sit out some activities while his family explored their surroundings.

At the suggestion of his friend and neighbor, Amy Brower, a physician assistant at the Bone & Joint Institute at Hartford Hospital, Peter was introduced to Dr. Robert Carangelo. After examination and consultation, surgery for a partial knee replacement was scheduled for March. But the coronavirus had other plans, so surgery was postponed as the hospital prepared for a surge of COVID positive patients.

May 14 was the rescheduled surgery date. With new safety protocols at BJI, Peter wasn’t sure what he’d experience that day. It didn’t take long for him to feel at ease.

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“What impressed me the most was the safeguards put in place,” Peter says. “There was a true concern and attention to safeguard my health, from temperature screening to assessing my current condition and questions to evaluate my health.”

Surgery went smoothly. And safely.

“The recovery bays on either side of me were empty,” Peter says. “I was separated from other patients and was also wearing a mask. Attendants were all wearing PPE (personal protective equipment), and were very accommodating to answer questions and assist with what I needed to accomplish before being discharged.”

Two weeks later, Gailey was dismissed from in-home rehab early after exceeding the goals a week ahead of schedule. He’s happy to report he has walked for an hour with no trouble or assistance from a cane or walker.

With his second surgery scheduled in just a couple of weeks, Gailey is looking forward to the same type of experience at BJI.

“I was trying to avoid surgery, and my experience was so extraordinary, I have no trepidation,” he says.

“These are uncertain times for sure, but the team took the time to care, and they seemed excited to be back doing what they do best. Words cannot adequately express how grateful I am to Hartford Hospital for this extraordinary outcome.”

For more information about the Hartford HealthCare Bone & Joint Institute, click here.

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