Peter Mellor, from North Kirklees, tells his story and his life-changing experience with Connect.
“It’s hard to put into words the Connect service. The only word that will do is excellent. I couldn’t have asked for more.”
What lead to your referral to Connect?
I’m 83 and felt that I had lost the ability to use my legs. They felt really weak and I had a poor sense of control, with very poor balance, shuffling along taking very small steps. My knees and ankles had been sore for a long time. Five years ago, I was offered two knee replacements, but turned them down as I had seen my wife go through four knee replacements, two on each and although it helped her pain slightly, her strength is still reduced and not functioning as well as expected. So I went to see my GP and they referred me to the Connect MSK physiotherapy service.
Did it limit your hobbies?
It could have done, due to the pain and lack of function in my legs, but I didn’t let it.
What did you think when you were first referred to physio?
Well, I didn’t know what to think. I wasn’t sure what we could offer but this all changed when I met you and got all the help on offer.
What treatment did you receive?
I had an injection into my knee that helped for about a month and then I was referred to physio. After one physio appointment, I was referred to the open gym structure at HUB26.
How did you find the treatment?
Whilst I received short-term pain relief from the injection, it was the gym setting that has provided the biggest change to my life. It has given me the confidence to engage in activity and the ability to walk. I joined HUB26 as a member and feel it’s the best thing I could have done. I got all the help needed from Connect as a service and find the gym is a great place to continue with things as the environment down here is so great. The whole Connect process has been excellent and is no comparison to anything else I have had in terms of NHS care. I feel it should be ran this way across the country. I feel I have 90% of my ability back due to the strength training and continued personal training sessions I have had after I was discharged.
What was the best thing about the experience?
The best thing is the people at Connect giving me the attention and care that I needed. I felt I could ask them anything and always got the advice to help and I really value what the staff put into the sessions.
What advice would you give to others?
Don’t expect anything unless you are willing to help yourself. You need to put the effort in to make the difference and if you are going to let things slip away from you, then be expected to lose the ability to do it. Listen to the advice and take action. If you are having any issues, then get yourself referred and be willing to make the changes needed. And then join as a member at HUB26 and continue with the activity.
I do feel that some people may be embarrassed to come and use the gym, but the environment at HUB26 is great and so welcoming – everyone should come give it a try as there is a wide variety of people and ages down here.
What does the future hold?
Hopefully, a tablet to make us younger, but the gym will have to do for now!
How would you sum up the Connect service?
I can’t put it into words. The only word that will do is excellent. I couldn’t have asked for more. The advice that has been provided to help me has been excellent.