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Agatha Curci

Brooklyn, NY
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I want to thank Dr. Dereck Hansen and Dr. Mark Harris (anesthesiologist) for everything!

I was suffering for months and went to several doctors who were trying all sorts of things for my hip pain. They looked at the x-rays and other tests and could not say for sure what was wrong. My pain doctor gave me steroid shots thinking it could be from the hip and the back. All did not work as my pain kept getting worse and I became confined to a wheelchair.

Dr. Hansen looked at the original x-rays and immediately explained where he saw the hip deteriorating. Previous doctors who saw the same x-ray said my hip looked OK. The CAT scan confirmed Dr. Hansen's conclusion. Finally, I could pinpoint that my problem but at that time I was very debilitated - I needed help with everything. Because of my age (93) Dr. Hansen knew that I needed to get out of the wheelchair ASAP because I also have a severe heart condition; he explained that time was of the essence so I would not become further weakened from inactivity. Dr. Hansen's office arranged the hip replacement surgery to be in two weeks.

My family was very worried about my survival of the surgery and anesthesia. But I was clear that I refused to live the rest of my life in pain and in a wheelchair and I made that very clear to Dr. Hansen. Dr. Hansen said that he was willing to do the surgery but would use all the cardiac anesthesia precautions at his disposal. Dr. Hansen called my son personally to explain these cardiac precautions. When there were more questions and doubts, my son was called on the weekend by the surgical anesthesiologist. Dr. Mark Harris carefully and patiently explained all the precautions and procedures. Dr. Harris was amazing.

On the day of surgery, Dr. Hansen made sure it was the first case of the day so that if they needed extra time it was available. The doctors took extra care and time to prepare myself in the surgical room to put those safeguards in place. My family was relieved when Dr. Hansen came out of surgery to say all went very well and mom did great! Unbelievably I was out of the hospital and through rehab in just twelve days. I do say that it did take some courage and faith to get through all this as there were doubts and difficult times particularly in rehab.

Now I am back to my life. I am walking independently without pain, gardening, going out to dinner, and all that I love. Eight months ago I thought this was all over for me for the remainder of my life. I did not want to live that way and I am grateful that Dr. Hansen had the knowledge, skill, foresight, and empathy to be the doctor to see me through.