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‘I am so grateful for all health care workers’ : Art’s journey with elbow surgery

Art was experiencing discomfort in his elbow from a growth that had developed due to gout.

The growth consisted of a buildup of scar tissue that  had fused with his bone.

After meeting with his family physician, a plan was set in motion to have it surgically removed at our hospital by Dr. Nicholas Yardley, Orthopaedic Surgeon. 

Art’s surgery was scheduled and then cancelled twice due to the pandemic and provincial directives to gradually ramp down elective surgeries and non-emergency care activities. 

“I knew I wasn’t going to die from having this growth. It was just an annoyance. I did not mind having to wait for my surgery so that others who really needed surgery could get it,” shared Art. 

Five months after he was originally set to have the growth removed, it was finally the day of Art’s surgery, and he was eager to have it be over with.   

His wife, Denise, drove him to the hospital and dropped him off to register; she would not join in for the surgery due to visitor restrictions at the time. 

“The Registration staff were very well organized,” shared Art, who has gained tremendous appreciation for efficiency from 34 years of service at the Canadian Tire Corporation. 

After registering Art went to the Day Surgery department where he was hooked up to intravenous.  

“I didn’t even feel the needle go in. The entire nursing team was so great. They kept checking on me and calming me down. They would joke with me, and the banter made me feel at ease – not like I was in a hospital waiting for surgery,” shared Art. 

Art grew up with a family full of health care professionals and has empathy for the challenges this pandemic has presented. Art’s mom, aunt, sister-in-law, and best friend are all nurses. 

“I just thanked everyone I met at the hospital. I am so grateful for all health care workers,” shared Art. 

In a matter of hours Art was in and out of surgery and his wife, Denise, had picked him up and taken him home to recover. 

The surgery went very smoothly, the growth was removed, and confirmed to be the size of a golf ball.   

Art will meet with Dr. Yardley in the weeks following his surgery to have his staples removed and arrange for follow-up physio appointments to regain strength in his elbow. 

Photo caption: Art with his wife Denise.