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El Camino Hospital and Me

Harvey’s & Stella’s Story: Hip and Knee Replacement

Known as the "bionic couple" to their friends, Harvey, 76, and Stella, 74, of Morgan Hill, have seen more than their share of surgeries in the past few years. In 2009 and 2010, they both underwent joint replacement surgery with Rodney Wong, MD, an orthopedic surgeon on the El Camino Hospital medical staff.

For Stella, it was a left knee that had been causing her pain "for years and years," as she describes it. She had taken pain medication and tried a minor surgery in previous years--none of which helped. Then she was referred by her physician in Morgan Hill to Dr. Wong, who replaced her left knee in June 2009. She says the procedure was a "big success" and now she is back to bowling and an active lifestyle involving lots of travel, including action-packed trips to Vegas with her 21-year-old granddaughter!

She says the procedure was a "big success," and now she is back to bowling and an active lifestyle involving lots of travel, including action-packed trips to Vegas with her 21-year-old granddaughter.

For Harv, a former bull rider from Wyoming who served in the Navy as an air traffic controller who directed Air Force One during the Johnson administration, a lifetime of wear and tear on his hips meant both hips would need replacing.

So, at age 75, Harv had bilateral hip replacement — the two hips were done about two months apart. Harv had lived with pain for years, and it "got to the point he couldn't walk another step on the golf course," says his wife, Stella

Harv's operation was life changing.

"He can golf now and he can walk long distances," says Stella. "We went to El Camino because it has the table for the anterior hip procedure," which is known to result in a faster recovery for patients. "Harv didn't even need morphine in the hospital. On his first day home, he used a walker, but by the second day, he didn't need it anymore," Stella adds.

Stella says Dr. Wong was "wonderful" and notes that "the hospital staff did everything they could to make me comfortable" as a visitor during her husband's two surgeries, allowing her to stay in the same room overnight. "El Camino Hospital certainly has a fan in us!"

A final note — not only have the Craigs been through joint replacement surgery, Harv has had a heart attack, a life-threatening infection from dental surgery and carpal tunnel surgery, and Stella has had back surgery.

(Note: Harv's surgery was performed at El Camino Hospital, but Stella's was at a surgery center near their home in Morgan Hill.)

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