Letter from Vicky Marlow

“Why I am a Volunteer Patient Advocate”

First let me preface this by saying that everyone is their own best advocate.

I have become a patient advocate for hip resurfacing because this procedure gave me back my life and I want to spread the word about hip resurfacing any way that I can. I want to see positive results for hip resurfacing worldwide and I believe it is important to keep the lines of communication open between the patients and the doctors. I want hip resurfacing to succeed.

Through my volunteer work over the past few years I have had the honor and privilege of meeting many of the world’s top hip resurfacing surgeons and I stay in touch with many of them on a regular basis. I have also been invited to and attend regularly many orthopedic surgeon conferences and have been able to bring back valuable information to the patient community from a patients’ perspective.

I am here to assist those that would like assistance and to answer any questions that I can answer and more importantly to direct you to valuable information for your own research. Every patient should do their own research in order to find the right surgeon, device, and procedure for them.

Why I am so passionate about this. Vicky's Story.

Defintion of Advocate: One that supports or promotes the interests of another

Unfortunately, even though the FDA approved the first device, the BHR, on May 9, 2006, the procedure is still not a widely accepted one. Many doctors still do not even tell patients that resurfacing exists. To me, that is a crime. Doctors are supposed to be bound by a code of doing what is best for their patients and yet many patients still struggle to find surgeons that are experienced and willing to do resurfacing or even tell their patients that this wonderful procedure exists so that we can do our own research.  In my opinion, anyone that qualifies for hip resurfacing should not even consider a Total Hip Replacement, but that's just me.  Yes a Total Hip Replacement is a great option IF you do not qualify for hip resurfacing. I made a vow to pay it forward and I intend on keeping that vow. I will do whatever I can in my power to spread the word on hip resurfacing and help as many patients as I can to preserve their bone first, if at all possible, and give them a chance to once again live a full active lifestyle.

I have learned so much in the past five plus years and continue to learn more each and every day. I want to share my knowledge with the patient community in any way that I can to help them in their journey. I now speak to at least one patient and sometimes up to six patients a day and get anywhere from half a dozen to over 40 emails a day.

All of my work is volunteer work and it has been so gratifying. Who would have ever imagined that a devastating diagnosis of a disease (OA) that is debilitating and causes excruciating pain requiring major surgery could turn into such an incredible positive in my life?

…but it has. I want to thank those that helped me along my journey for which I will forever be grateful. Alan Ray for the countless hours on the phone and emails from me that he so kindly and patiently put up with, and all the many wonderful doctors that I have met, some that I have now truly become friends with. The patience they have had with my many inquiries and the time they have taken out of their busy schedules to allow me to interview them, goes way above and beyond.

The bottom line:

Literally, we surface hippies go from being healthy active adults to a debilitating disease that leaves us crippled. The story on the front page was me, just a month prior to my surgery. I lost who Vicky was and became this withdrawn helpless human being. I alienated myself from friends and family. Hip resurfacing gave me my life back, my FULL life. It is truly a gift that these brilliant and talented surgeons have given us.

I am a patient advocate for hip resurfacing surgery and I want to provide honest objective opinions (I am not a medical expert) to other patients without any bias, except to help the patients do their own research to find the best surgeons for the best possible outcome for them.  To assist them in making sure they consult with all of the top hip resurfacing surgeons if they are told they are not candidates and only when the top doctors all say they are not, then and only then to accept other options like a BMHR or a Total Hip Replacement. This Hip Resurfacing Site will be a patient community filled with patients helping other patients. It in no way should take the place of your doctors’ advice.

Welcome to your new family while you go through your journey, hopefully this will help to make yours easier, the way those that helped me before, made mine. It’s all about Paying it Forward .

Thank you to all that have and continue to contribute their stories to this site, thank you for paying it forward.