Our favorite Blue Ridge patient comeback stories
Our patients are often anxious to share with us how much their quality of life has improved since receiving treatment for their orthopedic condition. Some are thrilled to once again hike the Blue Ridge Mountains or gear up for the gridiron. Others are glad to return to less arduous activities, such as gardening, playing the church organ, or spending quality time with their grandchildren. We’ve compiled some of the more inspiring stories below, which we like to call “Comeback Stories.”
Rock ’n’ Roll
Ever wonder who builds those massive stage setups for a rock band’s stadium tour, the presidential inauguration, and other big events? They’re call riggers and, yes, they have a labor intensive job.
Morgan Brownen works as a rigger, and in May 2019, she suffered a torn labrum in her shoulder while trying to stop a 150-lb. beam from falling on workers below. Unfortunately, due to a series of roadblocks — including the COVID-19 edict to temporarily cancel all elective surgeries — it took Morgan 19 months to make a full recovery and finally get back to work. And she may have never received proper treatment for her injury if not for a second opinion by Dr. Garretson and the persistence of the Blue Ridge Ortho staff.
“Dr. Garretson was amazing and I would recommend him to anyone who asks. I could not have asked for a better, more caring and helpful doctor. He listened to me every step of the way,” she says.
She adds, “Throughout it all, the ladies at Blue Ridge were incredibly understanding and bent over backwards to help me get the treatment I needed. At no point did I ever feel dismissed or unimportant at Blue Ridge. I don’t think I would have been able to recover as quickly as I did at any other facility.”
If Wendy Martin-Shuma looks familiar, it's because she’s the lead singer for the popular Silver Tones Swing Band based here in Fauquier County. Over the past eight years, the band has performed frequently at events in the region. Even now, during the pandemic, the band continues to perform 1940s-era big band hits (and music from other decades) to virtual and socially-distanced crowds.
What you might not know about Wendy is that she suffered from extreme hip pain for four years. Having been born with a condition called hip dysplasia, the time had finally come — at the early age of 47 — for a double hip replacement, which was performed at Blue Ridge Orthopaedic.
“Dr. Ramser definitely changed my life,” Wendy says. “I am pain-free now and living a much more full life. He's a wonderful surgeon!"
We're thrilled Wendy's quality of life has improved dramatically, as it has for countless other hip patients over the past 43 years. She can now perform on stage, walk up an incline, and even go hiking with her husband without pain.
Be sure to visit www.silvertonesswingband.com for more information about Wendy and the band.
We’re not going to lie. We love it when patients recommend us to friends and family. Vicky Carroll is one of those patients. And she knows our practice pretty well — she’s been treated by four Blue Ridge doctors over the past 30 years.
Back in 1988, when she couldn’t feel her hands, “Dr. Brown fixed them both with perfect results,” she says.
Later, she returned for several back surgeries performed by Dr. Wise (who has since retired) to fix discs in her neck and back that caused “enormous pain” when commuting to work or taking a flight.
“In between those surgeries, Dr. Kim brought me relief from pain with injections. All with a smile and graciousness,” she says.
Most recently, she had both knees replaced by Dr. Ramser. “What a wonderful doctor and individual,” she says. “Now I can go hiking with my husband,” she adds. And she is also able to assist as a caregiver for other family members.
In addition to the doctors, she also offers high praise for the “outstanding, friendly, professional, and caring” staff and nurses.
“I tell everyone in earshot to see [Blue Ridge], it will make all the difference for them.”
Back on the Road
Mike Causseaux, an avid bicyclist, suffered a knee injury three years ago and was no longer able to ride or train. He had already undergone four knee surgeries earlier in his life and feared he might never return to his favorite sport.
Depressed, he came to see Dr. Robert Smith at Blue Ridge, who assessed his injury and performed a knee replacement. “Three weeks later I was back in my bike and able to train and ride,” says Mike.
Mike is now cycling long distances. “I just finished a one day skyline drive ride of 105 miles and several other long rides without any discomfort,” he says.
Oh, did we mention Mike is 75 years old?
“I also compete in the senior games and do quite well. All thanks to Dr. Smith,” he says. “What a blessing to have all the new procedures right here in Warrenton.”