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5th September 2023

Without life-saving surgery, Maree could have spent life in a wheelchair

Before the age of 30, Yorkshire-based Maree Macey had already been operated on 29 times.

She was born with a rare genetic bone growth disorder (Spondyloepimetaphyseal dysplasia) that results in short stature. Her condition made her more prone to injuries that developed into serious health conditions and caused her debilitating pain in her joints. “If you haven’t got the pain there, you can get on with things, but when you’re in pain it completely stops you. I was in so much pain. Just a simple physical thing that can go wrong, can stop your life. This is even bigger than that.”

Maree was desperate for knee replacement surgery but was turned away by surgeons due to the complexities of her condition. At this point, she was forced to start preparing for a future in a wheelchair. Maree even invested in wheelchair-proofing their entire home, certain that there were no other options for Maree. “Without the surgery, I would have been in a wheelchair by now, miserable.”

Finally, Maree was given a lifeline when she met Mr. Veysi T Veysi, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Leeds Teaching Hospitals. Mr. Veysi advised the surgery was possible, but due to Maree’s anatomy using standard instruments and implants for the surgery wasn’t possible.

Mr. Veysi worked with a MedTech company based in Leeds to custom design and manufacture the equipment and tools needed that would give Maree the highest possible chances of a successful surgery. “A successful surgery to me was just to be out of pain. I didn’t need to run a mile, just to be able to walk without being in pain.”

The knee-replacement surgery was life-changing for Maree. She was able to spend time raising her daughter in a way she didn’t think would be possible. “I needed this technology at that time, I needed to raise my daughter so I needed it to happen at that time, I needed it to happen now. I hope it happens for a lot of other people because I know what it’s like to be in pain and not do anything and carry on with your life.”

She has now returned to her green-fingered hobbies as Maree loves to spend time growing her plants and vegetables and turning them into delicious condiments of her own.

“I can walk in my garden, grow my vegetables and fruit, and just enjoy my life.”

Maree is extremely grateful to Mr. Veysi for offering Maree a new lease of life. For patients like her, her advice is “I just want to get the message out to people to not give up.”

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