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Maryellen Heller

Danbury, CT
  • Maryellen Heller in the photo 1
  • Maryellen Heller in the photo 2
  • Maryellen Heller in the photo 3

As a high school Special Ed, English, and Reading teacher, I am required to walk from one end of the building to the other several times a day. I was doing this with a very very painful right knee. But I did this and walked my two miles a day. After two arthroscopic surgeries, shots in it, and draining, my knee was still not right. My orthopedic surgeon at that time told me to keep my weight down and my muscle built up in it until I could take time off and have a total knee replacement. My youngest daughter, Kathleen, works for an orthopaedic surgeon who is with HSS in New York City. She told me I needed to come down there and have this surgery. At the very least, she said to come see the doctor she worked for, Dr. David Mayman.

So the next week, we took a trip down to him. After more x-rays and I believe a T3 MRI, Dr. David Mayman told me I had a choice of a full knee replacement or a partial one. I opted for the partial knee replacement. I called the parents of my students, talked to my Principal, and three weeks later had the surgery. No one believed that I would be able to be back to work three weeks Following the surgery, but I was. The surgery was performed by Dr. Mayman and his team using a robot named Luke. I marvelled at all the tools set up in front of me as well as the parts. I felt like I was in a hardware store and the project the doctors and the robot Luke were working on was me! Three days later I was home and began my PT right away. The physical therapist told me after she was through with me, that at the beginning she was never sure that I would regain full extension of my knee. But with her help and guidance I did.

I went back to work three weeks later and felt no pain. In fact, I was wearing two inch sandals the first day back. I cannot begin to thank my daughter and Dr. Mayman and all his staff who helped make this such a positive and successful experience for me. I made them a book ( children's book) to show my appreciation and sent them an Incredible Edible gift basket, but it doesn't even come close to expressing the gratitude I feel every single day. I walk at least two miles every day and five or six on weekends when I have more time. I can even jog now which is something I've not been able to do for years. Truthfully, I choose not to do this because I really don't want to mess with success but it is nice to know I can! Sometimes I do for a few blocks just for the sheer joy of it! To say that this has changed my life is an understatement because to walk every day in pain is something I never want to do again. Several of my colleagues at work have gone to see Dr. Mayman because I am living proof of his success. Two have had surgeries done by him. Oh, and by the way, I thank Luke, the robotic device that enables my Mako knee to be placed with skill and precision. And I known that if another part of my knee needs replacing, I'll run down to Dr. Mayman and Luke again and have another part of this knee replaced with a Mako knee.