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A Show of Strength

Fritz Pollard was used to being active, used to being strong and self-reliant. As a former football player at Brown University, he played tight end. It took a lot to bring him down, and the strength of a team to get him back on his feet.

At 6’8" and over 300 lbs., Fritz has been the strong man as long as he can remember. He’s also paid the price, suffering a number of injuries and surgeries over the years. Both his son and daughter were born at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center, and when his son was born, Fritz was there as a patient himself. He was undergoing hernia surgery, as he recalls, "for trying to carry a safe." He still remembers the nurses wheeling his son’s bassinet into his room.

Last year, his son turned 19, and at the age of 50 himself, Pollard was again struggling with pain. He had fallen and it was excruciating to walk.

He found himself back at the hospital, this time for knee replacement surgery at the Joint Center at Shady Grove.

But unlike many of his fellow patients, Fritz had both total knee replacements done at the same time. It’s a big decision, says Judy Mardirossian, RN, coordinator of the Joint Center. "Having both knees done literally leaves you without a leg to stand on."

Dr. Andrew Bender, orthopedic surgeon, performed the surgery at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center on October 10, 2005. Fritz was up in three days, making a phenomenal recovery. "They were amazed at how fast I was up. But I was exercising my legs through the night."

Now he’s home and recovering, and walks every day with his daughter, his son, or his big baby - a 165-lb. Rottweiler named Maui. "I’m getting better every day," he says. "I’d do it all over again. They were super therapists, the nursing staff is great. It was the little things, like asking if there was anything I needed. They were there in the blink of an eye. That’s why this is my hospital."

How You Can Help

Interested in helping patients at the Joint Center at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center get back on their feet again - without pain? Contact the Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center Foundation at (240) 826-6570 to learn more about our giving opportunities and how your gracious contribution can be directed to help our joint replacement patients feel more comfortable and at home during their stay.

We Want to Hear From You

Do you have a story that you would like to share with us? Sharing your experience at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center will inspire others and help us to recognize the efforts of those who made a difference in your life!