All stories of recovery

Fred's Story

In February 2012, Fredaricka West sustained an injury that looked set to change her life forever.
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One morning, having slipped on icy grass, Fred badly shattered her femur. After an initial operation at her local hospital, the medical team told her it was unlikely she’d ever walk again.

"It was the most devastating news. I remember feeling very stunned and silenced, later feeling very tearful that I would never be able to resume my normal very active life. I was left in a wheelchair with a distorted leg and in excruciating pain for four months before I asked to be referred to Leeds General Infirmary. However just one month later I had my first very long and complex operation under the care of Professor Peter Giannoudis."

The procedure was so complex that it required two pioneering operations over a period of two years, during which time Fredericka was confined to a wheelchair to make sure no accidental falls would affect the fusing and growing of her bone.

“I remember it was getting close to two years after my accident and towards the end of my recovery, but I was still in a wheelchair. It was getting close to my son’s wedding day too. I asked Professor Giannoudis at one of my regular appointments whether he thought I would be able to stand at my son’s wedding. He gave me a big smile and said that if I wasn’t able to stand, he would hold me up! We both had a good laugh.

I was delighted when Professor Giannoudis gave me the best news possible; that my leg was sufficiently mended and I would be able to start to carefully learn to walk again. This was the news I had long been waiting for, to be able to walk again, and I was especially thankful to be able to stand on my son’s wedding day too.”

Thanks to the faith and perseverance of Professor Giannoudis and his team, Fredaricka has made an incredible recovery and has been a Peer Support Volunteer for Day One since 2014. She visits patients in Leeds, helping them find the strength and determination she knows is vital to getting life back on track.

If you have lived experience of major traumatic injury and are interested in volunteering, we are always looking for people to join the team!

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