S Stephen Lafferty - Patient Stories - About Us - FHN

In His Own Words

Surgical Success More Than the ‘LUCK O’ THE IRISH’

Stephen Lafferty has played competitive tennis since high school, and wasn’t ready to let an ‘unreliable’ knee stop his game. He turned to FHN‘s Dr. Kevin Draxinger for evaluation and counsel, and together they decided on total knee replacement surgery. Now he is ready to hit the courts and enjoy an active lifestyle.

When all-things-Irish enthusiast Stephen Lafferty thought his knee needed an overhaul, he didn’t want to count on luck. Instead, he trusted the professionals at FHN to help him regain his quality of life.

His wife, Susan, first noticed his knee discomfort when he had trouble with stairs on vacation. It wasn’t terribly painful, but it didn’t feel reliable. As a lifelong competitive tennis player and a landscaping aficionado, Stephen was concerned and took action quickly. He shares, “My knee was constantly feeling like it could ‘go out,’ inhibiting my everyday activities. It is important to me to be active right here, right now. I want to embrace life!”

Stephen consulted with FHN orthopaedic surgeon Kevin Draxinger, MD, who confirmed that his right knee needed attention – he had a torn meniscus, osteoarthritis caused by cartilage loss, and a pesky cyst that was causing occasional pain. Together, they decided on surgery.

Stephen was grateful for the thorough overview he received at his pre-op appointment with FHN Family Medicine physician Brian Bennett, MD, the education given by the Joint Clinic, and the helpful guidance from FHN Nurse Navigators Keri Wall, RN, BSN, CPAN, and Laura Setterstrom, RN, with whom he said he had “a great connection.” Two weeks later, he had total knee replacement surgery and cyst removal, and was delighted with the entire experience.

“I was on the FHN Foundation board of directors for many years, and am well aware that FHN is an important community asset, providing quality healthcare and employment opportunities,” he says. “I always knew they were good, and appreciated their excellent primary care, but now I know from firsthand experience how amazing the surgical and hospital team is, too.

The entire staff is excellent – dedicated, knowledgeable, professional, compassionate, and … fun! Whether at the primary care offices, the clinics, or at FHN Memorial Hospital, they go above and beyond with patient care, and the whole process is well-coordinated and -administered. From scheduling to surgery to physical therapy, every single step is streamlined and well-executed – I have been blown away.” Stephen recently completed physical therapy and has regained the strength, flexibility, and range of motion in his right leg. No more buckling. No more hesitation to be active. No more pain. He shares, “My physical therapist, Stephanie, was incredibly attentive. She motivated me and provided encouragement at every PT session. I am so pleased with the results.”

He maintains, “As a leprechaun, I‘d say FHN is my pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Things went so well it was almost surreal. Every touchpoint was spot-on – the nurse navigators, surgeon, anesthesiologist, PT, cleaning staff, food service, and right on down the line. They all made me feel like I was their top priority. The quality of care was quite remarkable … and that’s no blarney!”

Lafferty ‘the Leprechaun’ Lauds FHN

To thank those who cared for him during his recent knee replacement surgery, Stephen Lafferty wanted to share some ‘shamrock power’ on his favorite holiday – St. Patrick’s Day! So, he donned his lucky leprechaun garb and visited with staff at FHN Family Healthcare Center – Burchard Hills and FHN Memorial Hospital, passing out treats and providing positive feedback to many of the people who made his experience so positive.