Patient Stories

Tommy Roche

  • Knee Replacement
  • 27/07/2023
Tommy Roche

“I couldn’t wait any longer for surgery and went to Spain instead. The service was exceptional. I can’t wait to get back to refereeing football games again”

Dubliner Tommy Roche, (70), worked all his life in the maintenance section of St James’ Hospital in the city. He’s also a passionate FAI youth referee, having overseen Dublin, Leinster and All-Ireland youth finals. Forced to wait for surgery, Clondalkin man Tommy called Healthcare Abroad – and is hoping to be back refereeing again in the New Year. This is

Tommy’s story:

“I was out training with the lads (referees) one evening and as I was passing the 18-yard line I went down. I had torn my meniscus. That was June 2021. “As it wasn’t an official FAI training session, I wasn’t insured so went through the public system to try to get help. “I eventually had an urgent arthroscopy done that November. However I was later told I needed a new knee. I am still waiting to be seen. “I called them last May and I was told I would have to wait 7 months but I was on the emergency list. I thought that was ok and that I would wait.

So I called them again a few weeks ago and was told I’d have to wait 7 months again. So that would be 14 months. “I started looking to see if I could get seen more quickly. I was in a lot of pain and I was missing my refereeing too. “A relative called me out of the blue to tell me she was sitting with a woman who just had her knee replaced in Spain with Healthcare Abroad. She took down all the details and was able to give it to me. “The lady was just home from Spain and had already booked to go back to get her second knee done – and for me that was the best endorsement; that she had rebooked to go back.

“I called Chris at Healthcare Abroad and every single thing he told me on the call was 100 per cent and more. The service is exceptional. “All the drivers and carers and all the hospital staff were superb. The physio and aftercare was out of this world and I am hoping now to return to refereeing in the New Year. I’ll start with short-sided games and maybe progress to 11-a-side matches again. “I want to thank everyone at Healthcare Abroad.

If there’s anyone anywhere in Ireland who wants to talk to someone who has now been to Spain and had the operation and had the physio, I’d have no hesitation in speaking directly to them. It was exceptional.”