17 Year Anniversary of my hip resurfacing with Dr. De Smet in 2003 in Belgium.
Today I celebrate! On this day 17 years ago, I was in a hospital in Ghent, Belgium receiving two brand new chromium cobalt (metal) hips.
At the time, I could barely walk and was hunched over in pain (see pic 2: the day before surgery in Ghent) I could not stand up straight.
In the 10 years prior, US doctors did their best and persuaded me to have traditional hip replacements. However, I would not be able to ever run again and the traditional hip replacements would only last approximately ten years. I was young, so I refused and waited for a miracle. I wanted to run again.
Then in November 2002 I heard of the gifted Dr. Koen De Smet in Belgium who was using a new prosthetic hip invented in Europe.
The cartilage in my hips was worn out from contact sports, dysplasia, and from falling off roofs…I was in the roofing business and I didn’t like safety lines 🤣
And like Humpty Dumpty, they put me back together again!
I shared a room in the Belgium hospital with a man named John. He was a doctor from San Francisco who was in Belgium to receive the exact bilateral hip surgery as I. By 12:00 noon on 1/21/2003, Dr. Koen de Smet along with Hugo Contino had given Dr. John and I our four new hips!
There was a head nurse in the hospital that was kind of a prick to us Americans. As Dr. John Meharg and I pumped painkiller (morphine) into our spines after surgery, Dr. John gave nurse Gilbert the nickname “Count Gilbert.”
Inspired, when I came back to the states, I took a few guitar and vocal lessons and wrote the song Peel Me Apart about the surgery, then began writing and recording songs under the artist name Count Gilbert.
Peel Me Apart by Count Gilbert produced by James Robinson is in the Instagram music library and iTunes!
And today I am running around like a little kid at Miami Beach! I have to because there’s so many girls to chase here! 😂
Pic 3: post surgery therapy in the hospital. Pic 4: Dr. John and I standing tall after being released from the hospital