Dear Dr. Leone,
It’s been a month since my knee replacements, and what a learning experience this has been! Working with you and your team has been nothing short of a great balance of ingredients for such success:
1. Surgeon’s skills! All arrows point to you, Dr. Leone. Your awards, your cutting edge methods of surgery, your experience and your wonderful caring attitude told me you were of the old school…doctors who still actually care about their patients and can discuss patients’ needs in a simple easy-to-understand way; a doctor without the attitude we find so much today in modern medicine. Thank you for your great skills, kindness and caring, and thank you for including Susan Simonton as your assistant surgeon, as her closure of the incisions left me with almost no scars at all!
2. Motivation! You gave me the instructions to follow, and you promised me the best results if I followed this program: exercise 3x a day as shown and pool work including walking and swimming for 45 min. per day. This sounded like a lot of work, but I was determined that I would be in great shape so you would have the best chance of success. I began these exercises two full months before surgery, so by the time you were ready to operate, I was ready with strong legs that would carry me through surgery, rehabilitation and on with Life. Thank you for doing what you promised…giving me new straight legs and knees I could depend on forever.
3. Trust! Once a patient has motivation, trust will follow. You are the most caring physician I have ever known. When I first met you several years before surgery, you convinced me by your soft manner and by quietly and thoroughly explaining what needed to be done that when I was ready to move forward, you would be ready too. I knew from my own research that you were the best person for the job, and two years later, sure enough, I returned.
4. Financial assistance. Because I am from abroad (Bahamas) without any insurance at all, my hospitalization and intensive rehab proved to be possible through the help of your competent office staff who tirelessly worked with Holy Cross Hospital to get me the best pre-paid rate possible. Once I had the appropriate information, I was able to save for several years in order to afford the surgery; and more important, you worked with me to make everything happen, despite the fact that double knee replacements are seldom done.
5. Periphery care. I was amazed at the kindness of my nurse, Paula, in the pre-op room, always a scary place before surgery. She made sure things went according to plan, and she gave me the confidence I needed at that very time. Dr. Drozd, my anesthesiologist, never made me feel rushed when he came to talk to me about this aspect of the surgery, and his epidural was absolutely painless. (How did he do that?) Kathy in 4th Floor rehab encouraged me with the first 20 steps on my two new knees just hours after surgery, and I never doubted her when she told me I could do it! The International Team came to visit daily, boosting my spirits as we laughed together.
6. Hospital excellence. Excellent hospitalization along with an important week in the IRU in Holy Cross Hospital put me way ahead of the curve! The physical therapy of 2 hours/day, occupational therapy of 1 hour/day, and additional training in adult domestic living of 1 hour/day set me straight to leave Holy Cross in 9 days, able to climb stairs, get into a car, perform movements in extension and flexion that even amazed me! I would like to stress that although the IRU week was intense, my physiotherapists were my guiding light; each person had different methods of obtaining the best from me without causing me undue discomfort. I believe this IRU team at Holy Cross took your excellent surgical techniques to even higher levels at the ‘healing’ end of the scale, and I would recommend these few days to anyone who can afford the added expense.
I apologize if this letter is too long, but I wanted to share with any prospective patients the various aspects of my care so that can know they will be in the best of hands with you and the Holy Cross team.
Thank you so much for my new knees!
With kindest regards,