Servants At Work, Inc. (SAWs)™, is a non-profit 501(c)(3), volunteer ministry. SAWs builds and installs wheelchair ramps for people who are physically unable to leave their homes and are essentially trapped inside. The organization is almost exclusively dependent on volunteers and completely funded by donations, grants and sponsorships.
Most weeks, ramps are pre-fabricated in the SAWs warehouse on Thursdays and are then put together and installed at various homes on Saturdays. Volunteers come from all over Indianapolis and from every profession imaginable. One SAWs volunteer is Paul Snyder. Paul is retired and spends a lot of time helping out at SAWs.
“I look forward to my time working with the team at SAWs and I truly enjoy doing the pre-fabrication work on Thursday mornings,” said Paul. “We cut lumber to the lengths required for each job and pre-assemble platform and ramp frames. We also load everything for two to three ramps into the correct trailers so they are ready to go on Saturday mornings.”
It’s all a lot of work and exhausting manual labor. So when Paul started to experience constant pain in his right hip, he was unable to do everything he wanted to while he was volunteering.
“It was actually my fellow volunteers at SAWs that pointed out the fact I was limping,” said Paul. “I knew my hip hurt and I could feel the pain, but I didn’t know just how bad it was until a couple people asked me why I was limping. It had gotten to the point where I would stay at one station and use a drill driver because it required no carrying of lumber and little walking around.”
Paul dealt with the pain in his right hip for two years. “I thought it was just a weak muscle in my right leg,” said Paul. “I would work fairly hard to make it stronger, but it did not help.”
Outside of volunteering, Paul also has a passion for driving his Lotus Super 7 sports car that he built himself. He even races when time allows. Part of racing demands that he walk the course in advance to memorize the different turns and changes. However, his hip didn’t tolerate him walking the course and barely allowed him to get in and out of his car.
Diagnosis and total hip replacement surgery
Finally, Paul had enough and went to see OrthoIndy total joint specialist Dr. Benjamin Justice. Dr. Justice determined that Paul needed a total right hip replacement as his right hip’s cartilage was wearing away and the pain Paul was experiencing was due to bone-on-bone resistance.
Paul had his hip replaced November 2015. “All the staff at OrthoIndy, as well as the physicians and even anesthesia were competent, kind, caring and very patient focused,” said Paul. “Dr. Justice is a good communicator and produced wonderful results.”
A return to a normal lifestyle
Paul has been able to return to his active volunteer duties and gets in and out of his Lotus Super 7 sports car with ease.
“I have driven my sports car a number of times and can walk the course beforehand with no problem. I am back to building two to three wheelchair ramps with fellow volunteers every week,” said Paul. “I built a raised garden for my wife and another one for a close friend, hauling over 3,000 pounds of supplies, soil and mulch. I even had my bicycle refreshed so I can ride with friends. Sometimes I forget I had my hip replaced.”
Paul is able to enjoy life after retirement again.
“My outlook on life is very positive and even though I am retired, I like to do many things and be active,” said Paul. “I wish I had visited OrthoIndy two years earlier and had my hip replacement then. I would have had a much better quality of life a lot sooner.”
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Justice please call 317.884.5169 or learn more about total hip replacement surgery at OrthoIndy.
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