Audrey Youden 10/19/06 & 4/20/07 Dr. Vijay Bose

I am a mother of four children and grandmother to eight.  I always loved having my family near and celebrating the holidays, birthdays and summers with family members around.  My husband and I would travel to Orlando, Florida in the winter so that they family could join us there to visit Disney World.  My arthritis became so bad that I could not join in the fun and was always looking for some place to sit.  We used to travel out west and hike the canyons of Utah and Colorado and that had to come to a stop.  My life was put on hold and I was only 56 years old.  Before my hips gave out on me, I felt like I was 39 years old.  I am a great lover of gardening and that was impossible because I could not stand or bend for any length of time.  

I was put on a two year waiting list in 2004 in Nova Scotia for hip replacement, waited the two years only to find that my turn was no where in sight.  My husband started his search to have the surgery done elsewhere. He watched something on TV about a new  procedure called “resurfacing”.  He went to the web to get more information and found the manufactures to be Smith and Nephew.  He wrote to them directly and asked who were their top surgeons.  Their reply was McMinn in the UK, Dr. DeSmet in Belgium and Dr. Vijay Bose in Chennai, India.  My husband told me it was my choice and I chose Dr. Bose because of the aftercare in India and have never looked back.

They wrote an article in our local Halifax newspaper about my planned trip to India for surgery and I received a phone call from a stranger in Nova Scotia who had already been to Dr. Bose for hip resurfacing and he reassured me that I would be in the best of hands.  The stranger was Jim MacDonald who makes his living building boats and he told me that he was back in the boatyard at six weeks post op.  The people I had talked to near my home who had THR were still walking with a limp a year after their surgery.  Everyone seemed to love to tell me horror stories about their THR surgeries.  Jim reassured me that Dr. Bose was the best and I could not go wrong.

We had travelled to other countries in Asia, but had never been to India.  All I can say is that it is unique.  If you do not want to go out and mix with the people, Apollo hospitals has a car to take you to your hotel, then to the hospital and after surgery to the resort that you choose for your recuperation.  However, I would strongly suggest being with the people.  They are wonderful!  Everyone has a smile for you and at no time did we feel uncomfortable in the streets of Chennai.  We chose to go to the Ideal Beach Resort to recoup because of its close proximity to the town of Mamallaphuram where there are ancient temples to visit and the town to walk around for exercise.  You can rent a car with a driver from the resort and go further out into the countryside and see life in rural India.
We made life long friends while in India and plan to return there often.

I had my first surgery October 19, 2006 and was so amazed with the results that at Christmas it was like back to the old days with the family around and I spent my time in the kitchen preparing food.  By January, the second hip had me back on the sofa again.  I had planned to wait a year before I had the second hip resurfaced, but we decided why wait and be in pain and lose another summer.  I wrote Dr. Bose and booked in for my second surgery which was April 20, 2007.  The second surgery was even easier than the first.
 In June of 2007, I planted each and every flower that summer myself.  I finally have my life back.  I am the one carrying firewood into the house, I shovel snow and I walk 5 miles a day on my elliptical.  I enjoy every moment of being able to do these things.  I was at a dinner recently and sat next to a friend who had a THR.  When she noticed that I had my legs crossed she whispered to me and pointed to my legs and shook her head as if to say “that’s a no no”.  I smiled and said “not if you’ve had them resurfaced”!!  She had her surgery 3 years ago and still has a slight limp.

Canada now has some wonderful surgeons who have very good reputations for BHR’s, however, now their waiting lists are getting long.  Some people say they cannot afford to go to India for surgery, but they pay $25,000 or more for a vehicle.  My surgery cost me less than $10,000 so I ask where are their priorities?  Having my freedom back to do whatever I want is the most important thing to me.

I would not want the violence in Mumbai to scare people away from Chennai.  Mumbai has been experiencing violence for a long time and at no time did I feel uncomfortable in Chennai.  The streets in Chennai are a challenge, but so worth the effort.  The shopping is great, the food is great and if you do still prefer pizza, Pizza Hut and Subway is alive and doing well in the malls.

Since my surgery, two other people from my town have made the trip to Dr. Bose for their surgery and I meet them on the street and exchange stories of how well they are doing.  I have nothing but positive things to say and love to talk about my experience.  If anyone would like to reach me I’m in the phone book in Chester, Nova Scotia.