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On My Feet Again

Flo Tomanek, 72, is a woman on the go. Traveling, volunteering, hanging with the girls, even caring for her young granddaughter. But not so long ago, pain had her stopped in her tracks — until a hospital full of experts put her back on her feet.

A runner and then a power walker through much of her life, Flo Tomanek simply found one day that she couldn’t walk; the pain was crippling. Fortunately, she knew what her next step should be.

Flo had a long history with our hospital as a volunteer, and knew that expert help was as close as the orthopedists at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center. Her visit revealed that the cartilage was gone in her knees, and also that she’d developed osteoarthritis. Flo received a total knee replacement in 2004, and another last year. After her first knee replacement, she said, the second wasn’t even an issue. “I knew what a relief it would be.”

Today, she’s pain-free. And the shoe is on the other foot. Flo’s no longer a patient, she’s the expert. She volunteers weekly as a patient advocate at the Orthopedics Group during orientation — known as “boot camp” — when prospective patients come in to learn about knee surgery.

“They do a great job here of preparing people for the surgery. I’m just here to add my two cents. More and more, I see young people who are coming in for knee surgery, many with some trepidation. I say, look, I’m 72. If they can help me, they can help you. And I can do almost anything I want,” says Flo. “Life is a hoot. Oh yes,” she adds, “and I show them my knees.”

How You Can Help

Interested in helping us to better help patients like Flo? 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 best directed to help.

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!