David Ward
Apr 24, 2018 - Elmhurst YMCA

Have you met David Ward?

David Ward has been a member of the Elmhurst YMCA for a little over 4 years now as he moved up to Chicago from St. Louis.  Having engaged in athletic pursuits most of his life, he had severe knee joint issues and neither one of his legs were straight as he had experienced arthroscopic surgery on both knees, the first surgery on his left knee approximately 25 years ago and the other knee about 20 years ago.  After re-hab, he continued with his athletic pursuits playing doubles racquetball which was hard on his knees as well.  Soon after, his body told him to hang it up.

Dave began doing a water/pool workout, at the Y, as it provided resistance but not the pounding.  He worked hard in the pool but the damage had been done.  And because he was not burning the calories as he was when he was playing racquetball, he began putting on weight.  He was noticeably limping, when he came to the Y, and about a year ago, he increased the frequency of shots in both knees.  This was futile and when he concluded the regimen in February of 2017, he knew he had to consult with an orthopedic surgeon.

"My surgeon examined my X-Rays and told me he wanted to replace both knees at the same time.  Believe it or not, this was exactly the diagnosis I was hoping for.  He told me if he just did one knee, that because neither one of my legs was straight, I'd compromise the good knee.  Because I had worked hard in the Y pool religiously, I was also fit enough to be able to withstand having both knees replaced…and thanks to my phenomenal company, Alro Steel, for the insurance benefits that covered me for my surgery and rehab."

His surgery was performed in June of 2017.  Eight weeks later, he was back at the Y working in the pool and although still doing out-patient rehab, remained determined to take full advantage of this life changing event.  He was moving slowly and still hurting.  But every day that went by, he knew he had accomplished something positive on his road to recovery.

"I knew what I had to do to get better with my knees just as an athlete knows what they must do to become an expert in their pursuit.  I also made a vow to drop the excess weight and I have dropped over 20 pounds and have been able to maintain the loss.  Now I get on the bike upstairs and ride which I was unable to do previously.  I can do so many more things with my new knees and 30 minutes on the bike and 40 minutes in the pool are a breeze.  And most importantly, now when my wife asks me if I want to go for a walk, I can jump right up and go!"

When asked what difference the Y made in all this, he stated, "Besides being a great place to work out, it has allowed me to develop a social network as well.  I feel good when I go to the Y and everybody is really nice.  I also appreciate all the different ethnicities and how that has expanded my knowledge and appreciation of others.  MY Y is there for me with wonderful support staff and the member I have grown to know and cherish!  Thank you for being such an important party of my life!"