Keeping Care Local, Memorial Helps Couple Regain Their Mobility
On a shady back patio surrounded by blooming flowers, Duane Coffey helps his wife, Terrie, maneuver from her wheelchair to her walker and finally into a comfortable chair. The process is now routine for the couple; gentle hands and teasing words flow easily after each underwent two reconstructive surgeries. Duane walks on two new knees, and Terrie sports two new hips. They attribute their easy surgeries and recoveries to the outstanding orthopedic surgery and post-operative care teams at Yakima Valley Memorial, and the physical therapy team at Orthopedics Northwest.
Terrie kicked off the couple’s series of orthopedic surgeries when her right hip finally gave up the ghost. “I thought I had pulled a groin muscle and ignored it for a long, long time,” said Terrie. She limped through the last few years until a friend finally encouraged her to go to Memorial. “Sure enough, I had fractured my hip. I went two years with that limp, forcing myself while thinking I just needed that ligament to heal.”
During the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Terrie and Duane were introduced to the staff at Memorial Orthopedics. Terrie had her right hip replaced in 2020, noting that despite the chaos of the pandemic, she never felt overlooked.
“I was nervous about complications post-op,” said Terrie. “But that entire Memorial team worked with me to answer all my questions and really helped calm me down. The surgeon, the anesthesiologist — they give you all the information you need.”
Not long after Terrie completed her post-op therapy at Orthopedics Northwest, the couple decided to see about getting Duane a new set of knees.
“Both knees were bone on bone. I was bowlegged and couldn’t walk without a cane,” Duane recalled. “I didn’t even walk down to the mailbox; it hurt so bad.”
In October 2021, Duane had his first knee replacement surgery at Memorial hospital. He elected to have his second surgery soon after, and thanks to the team at Memorial, he secured an opening in December.
Terrie’s left hip replacement surgery took place in the summer of 2022 and is healing quite nicely – too nicely, in Terrie’s opinion. “I was just feeling so good up until I went and pushed myself too hard,” she said. Despite a slight setback, Terrie is well on her way to walking without assistance.
At every appointment, Duane and Terrie were amazed by the friendliness and professionalism of their team. Duane chuckled, remembering his first encounter with his orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Robert Greene, “He’s something else. When I met him, he was a giant in my eyes because here was the master about to perform his craft. His reputation goes ahead of him.”
During this time, both Duane and Terrie frequently worked with the physical therapy (PT) team at Orthopedics Northwest, who advised them the best window to start PT for optimum healing and improvement is right after surgery.
Duane reminisced, “When I first walked in, I saw everyone up and moving. They’re talking and joking. Pretty soon, we were part of their team.”
Even though the team was welcoming and cheerful, the couple acknowledged that PT can be the most difficult part of the process.
“It’s painful,” said Terrie. “And that’s why a lot of people don’t finish therapy, but you have to stay with it to get the results you want.”
Having all of their surgeries and their PT right here in Yakima was a huge blessing, according to the couple. “You don’t have to go across the mountains to find an amazing team,” states Terrie. “I lived with that pain forever, and to know you can stay right here and have it all taken care of is fantastic.”
“You really just can’t thank the team at Memorial enough,” smiled Duane as he looked over at Terrie. “These knees haven’t felt this good since I was 30 years old. It’s like driving a brand-new car.”
Terrie and Duane couldn’t say enough kind words about their team, including Dr. Greene and his surgical and post-op support team at Memorial, as well as all the therapy specialists and staff at Orthopedics Northwest. They’re looking forward to getting back to exercising and visiting their grandson, who is stationed in Hawaii with his family.