“I was told i’d have to wait 16 months to see a consultant before i could get on a waiting list. I was in too much pain to wait”
Lorraine Doyle is 54 and works as a highly valued Special Needs Assistant in Dublin. She has always been active, running and going to the gym four days a week to lift weights. Then disaster struck.
This is Lorraine’s story:
“My problems started just before Christmas last year. I go to the gym, mainly lifting weights. I’ve always been healthy; always eating properly and always doing exercise. I hurt my knee in the gym and went to get x-rays. When the x-ray results came back, they didn’t really show anything. So, I just left it at that. “I went to a physio in Mullingar and he did a great job. He got rid of all the inflammation and I was back to going to the gym again. That was great for me at the time.
“But then in May I was at the gym and I was sprinting across a car park and I heard a pop. Of course, I was going for Olympic gold in my head, so I kept running. “That was me. I was done. I went on my holidays in a wheelchair and on crutches. While I was beside the pool on that holiday, I booked MRIs back in Dublin. It cost me €650 for two MRIs, one for each knee. “Those images found a litany of issues with both knees and I was told I was on a waiting list for Beaumont Hospital.
I called the hospital to find out how long I would have to wait and was told I wasn’t on the waiting list yet. I would only go on the list after I had seen a consultant and that wouldn’t be until August 2024. “At this point I had no mobility whatsoever. I was in awful pain. I love gardening but I couldn’t even do that as I couldn’t kneel down. Of course, I couldn’t go to the gym either and I really missed that. “So, I decided I wasn’t going to wait. I went to Kingsbridge in Belfast and paid a fortune for a consultation. And they wanted more money too if I was going back up for another consultation. “Then I heard Paul from Healthcare Abroad on the Laura Dowling Experience podcast and I called straight away to go to Spain instead. I am too young to wait.
“The whole Healthcare Abroad experience has been fantastic. Getting collected at the airport and being booked into a top hotel was all superb. “I had multiple tests and x-rays done at the HCB Hospital in Denia and met with Dr Ibo van der Haven. As he said himself to me ‘I don’t treat reports, I treat patients’. I had never heard that before. “He recommended and carried out an arthroscopy, a knee repair operation. I couldn’t believe the service. All the pre-op tests were done in less than an hour. “The service in Spain is first class. I couldn’t recommend it highly enough. I’d say to anyone in pain to call the Healthcare Abroad people and get yourself sorted.”