My name is Dorothy Hawkins and I work at a residential detention facility. I’m a teacher there. I teach math, science and life skills. I’ve always enjoyed outdoor activities and sports. And then back in 86 I blew out my ACL playing basketball, but I had a good surgeon and everything went great until about 18 years down the road when it started having some problems. Besides going out and doing outdoor activities I also enjoy spending time with my family. And we have two daughters. Heather is my oldest and then I have Samantha and she’s over in Japan working at a university. And Heather got into running about three years ago and it was about that time that my knees started giving me problems and I did some research and I looked at Florida Orthopaedic Institute and I was able to get an appointment with Dr. Garlick.
When I first went in, he said that there were some things in my knee that had gone astray and he actually found a large bone spur. I could hear it clicking and it was painful. And so once that got taken out then I was better for a while. But unfortunately, my knee had taken too much abuse over the years. And so when I said, so I, I think it’s time to do surgery. And he says, well, I was waiting for you to tell me. And at the time it was painful to walk. I was using a cane because I just couldn’t walk. And where I work, it’s on a large piece of land and every day at lunchtime we would take two or three laps around the lake. And I could no longer walk around the lake. And my family, we’re big Disney fans. We love to go to Disney and well there’s always walking involved at Disney and standing and I just couldn’t do it. And so then finally we were able to schedule the surgery and I was actually really excited because I was finding going to have surgery. So later that afternoon, the physical therapist at the hospital came to get me up to have me walk around on my leg, which I thought was pretty cool. Even just walking the first day. And so I got the walker and we start going down the hallway and he’s saying now, pretty soon you should be able to tell the difference. And I just went, are you kidding? This is awesome. I said, I’m standing straight. I’m not leaning to one side, I’m not wobbling. I said, I’m not in any pain. I said, you know, this is already better, just a hundred percent better.
When I went back to work six weeks after the surgery, I didn’t need a cane to walk down the path and it didn’t hurt. And I just was able to have my backpack on and walking down the sidewalk and there were no problems. Or I just kept doing the physical therapy that I was supposed to be doing and I’d get started walking more with her and riding the bike. And it just keeps getting better and better. I’m just thrilled cause I feel like I have not only just my life back, but I have a better life than I had before. I would recommend Florida Orthopaedic Institute because they’re amazing as an organization and everybody is all focused on helping the person be mobile and have the best life that they can have.