BIG-hearted Sue Village is on a mission to get people vital hospital treatment after battling to get back on her feet herself.
Sue had her knee shattered by her dog Fraser last year when the boisterous labrador crashed into her legs while they were out walking by Ipsley Church.
“Luckily the man I was chatting with at the time was a paramedic and he knew what to do and called the Air Ambulance,” said the 40 year-old hairdresser.
That was in June last year but Sue’s agony was just beginning, when, following two operations at the Alexandra Hospital, she says she was told she would have to wait until her 60th birthday before she getting a knee replacement.
“You can imagine the pain I was in, and then to learn that, when I’m in the prime of my life, I was going to have to wait until I was 60 for an operation, it’s a disgrace,” said the Woodrow resident.
“When you are still young it really impacts on your quality of life.”
Unwilling to spend the next 20 years using a mobility scooter, Sue immediately started lobbying the hospital, her doctor and Redditch MP Karen Lumley, calling for something be done not just for herself but other sufferers in a similar position.
“What they are doing is keeping people disabled, keeping them on painkillers, and it must be costing them more in drugs than doing the operations,” she said.
Eventually her campaign paid off and early this year she was given a new knee.
“I’m already feeling much better, I can bend my leg again and I’m beginning to get about – my quality of life has improved enormously,” she said.
“Now she is calling on health chiefs to give sufferers like her a fighting chance.
“I have a friend, Martin, who’s crippled by rheumatoid arthritis, he’s a single dad, and he walks like an 80-year-old even though he’s just 43.
“His life could be much more fulfilling he had his knees and elbow fixed.”
A spokeswoman for Worcestershire Hospitals NHS said: ““All patients who could benefit from knee replacement surgery are assessed by our clinical teams. If the risks outweigh the benefits we may offer a number of alternatives. Any patient who would benefit from knee replacement surgery will not be refused purely on the basis of age.”