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Towanda woman, 81, back on dance floor after hip replacement

Beverly McCulloch hip replacement

A true Kansas farm wife and mother, Beverly McCulloch took care of everyone else before herself.

But the pain in her left hip gradually caught up with her.

“I had pain for 10 years,” she says. “I just put up with it. But eventually I knew I had to get my hip replaced. I couldn’t go on like that.”

Beverly, 81, has lived in the Towanda area northeast of Wichita her entire life. She still lives in the farmhouse she and her late husband renovated more than 50 years ago. Through the years, they grew crops and raised livestock — and their two children — on the land.

On April 28, she had her hip replaced at the Via Christi Joint Replacement Center. John R. Schurman, MD, an orthopedic surgeon with Advanced Orthopaedic Associates who also serves as the center’s medical director, performed the surgery.

Best practices, best outcomes

The Joint Replacement Center at Ascension Via Christi St. Francis in Wichita uses national best practices in knee and hip replacements to provide the best outcomes for patients. Patients are walking within hours of surgery, which improves recovery times.

They also undergo therapy in a group setting, and family members, friends or Via Christi volunteers serve as coaches to encourage patients in their recovery.

The center opened in fall 2014, and portions of the program also have been implemented at Ascension Via Christi St. Teresa and Kansas Surgery and Recovery Center, both in Wichita.

Beverly’s daughter, Brenda Berryman, who served as her mother’s coach, says she enjoyed encouraging all of the patients during therapy sessions.

Support is key to success

“We end up getting a lot of positive feedback about group therapy,” says Shannon Wilson, orthopedic service line coordinator for Via Christi. “Everybody’s going through the same thing and they can talk about it.”

Wilson says patients who have a strong support network — to coach them during the hospital stay, prepare a plan for going home and help them after they leave the hospital — are especially set up for success in the Joint Replacement Center program.

“Brenda was just so supportive of her mom,” Wilson says.

Now, Beverly is enjoying life back in her farmhouse.

“We were so impressed with the whole process — from going to the education class and knowing what to expect, to check-in, to surgery, to the way they treated her after surgery,” Brenda says. “And even after we left, I could call Shannon to ask questions.”

Adds Beverly: “They treated me like a queen.”

Active and pain-free

Now, Beverly’s hip is pain-free. She’s filling a busy social calendar that includes two-stepping at the El Dorado Senior Center, regular coffee dates with friends, Daughters of the American Revolution meetings and church activities.

“Life is so much better,” Beverly says.

“She’s so busy, we have to make an appointment to come visit with Mom,” Brenda says. “It’s ‘Katie bar the door!’”

This fall, when workers were harvesting the family farm’s soybeans, Beverly’s eyes again turned to the field.

“I so wanted to get up on that combine, but I couldn’t,” she says.

This time, it wasn’t her hip that kept her grounded. She had her hair done that morning, and she didn’t want to mess it up. After all, she had to look good for her next social outing.