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Knee replacement surgery gives woman new lease on life

Knee replacement patient Wanda Groves

In her 60s and 70s, Wanda Groves set statewide running records for her age group, 11 of which still stand.

When she turned 80, she and her friends rode 80 miles on their bikes to mark the occasion.

At 89, the retired physical education and music teacher continued to be active, riding 18-plus miles every other week with a local cycling group.

“But it got to where my knees were hurting all the time,” says Groves, who recently celebrated her 90th birthday. “I couldn’t even mow my own lawn.”

Her family physician referred her for further evaluation by a sports medicine specialist and the news wasn’t good.

“They told me both knees were gone,” says Wanda. So on Oct. 17, she got a new left knee at her hospital of choice: Ascension Via Christi Hospital on St. Teresa.

“With the hospital being new, I thought it would attract top-notch people — and I think it did,” says Wanda. She also liked the idea of being so close to her Goddard home.

It was convenient for her and for her daughter, Linda, who flew in from California to be with Wanda before and after the surgery.

“We had about a five-mile drive,” Wanda says. “You’ve got to admit, that’s pretty nice.”

So was being prepped for surgery in a private room, with a nurse constantly at her side.

“You’re never left alone,” she says. “That was really comforting.”

Her surgery went well and she was walking and exercising with help the same day.

"I really appreciated the care, the nurses, how well you are taken care of and how interested everyone is in what you have to say," says Wanda.

She returned home three days later and within a couple of weeks was back on the recumbent bicycles at the YMCA just down the road from her new hospital.

An avid Wichita State University volleyball and women’s basketball fan, Wanda also was back at Koch Arena cheering both teams on. By the time her January birthday rolled around, she was handling the stairs at the arena with ease.

“This is my life and I don’t like to have it interrupted," says Wanda.

About Ascension Via Christi