Hip Replacement Hell to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Comeback
- 48.40% funded
- £ 1,210.00 pledged
- 10 Days Left
Thank you for taking the time to visit my page. I am writing this sitting in a hospital bed after a full metal hip resurface. This is my third and hopefully final hip surgery to put me right and begin this seemingly impossible journey. I have been encouraged by friends and supporters to give this a go and put myself in, what I believe is the only position available to me, to achieve my dream of getting to Tokyo 2020 in the Men’s Hammer, and repeating the medal winning performances of Glasgow 2014 and Gold Coast earlier this year.
It has always been my dream to go to the Olympics. In 2016 this was looking possible, but an undiagnosed hip injury surfaced itself in 2015 and there was not time to operate and stand a chance of making the Olympic team. The initial discovery was that I had Hip Dysplasia (shallow hip sockets) and so my surgeon opted to inject the hip multiple times to keep the pain and inflammation at bay and fortunately I made the team. Five days before the competition I had a tiny slip in a wet circle and BANG my hip exploded. I was in a huge amount of pain and unable to train. I made the decision to compete but I achieved way below my best and came a disappointing 21st. After the Olympics I was told I was having my funding cut from the World Class Performance Programme. Shortly after this I had my first hip reconstruction and a British Athletics Doctor told me to retire and that I would never throw competitively again.
I returned after surgery to narrowly fall short of making the London 2017 World Championships which was frustrating, however encouraging that I was making good progress. The 2017 silver lining was gaining selection for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast. In my attempt to make London 2017 more damage had been caused in the last qualifying competition and I had another hip reconstruction exactly a year later in 2017. I knew a replacement was going to be unavoidable eventually but to give me one final shot at making 2018 we opted to try damage control again. I came off my crutches in November 2017 and the Commonwealth Games was in April, so time was extremely limited. The rehab was rough and filled with issues including a subluxed elbow. I made it to Australia in bad shape but with sheer determination I managed to fight for Bronze and pull off a miracle by securing the Bronze Medal in the last round. This medal was like a Gold medal to me after all I had been through since Rio.
Since Gold Coast I have been preparing for surgery and continuing to work as a Sports Massage Therapist and Scaffolder to pay the bills as I receive no funding as an Athlete. I will not be able to work for 6-8 weeks post surgery, so it has been essential for me to put my training programme on hold. Despite the setbacks, I firmly believe that with my determination and attitude I can make Tokyo 2020 but my goal is not only to make Tokyo, but to medal. I am aware that every day will matter if I am to achieve this dream and that I will need to fill every moment with recovery and training to bridge the gap between the healthy, funded athletes and myself. I know what it takes to make the Olympics and it took everything I had before and it’ll undoubtedly take even more this time around. I don’t believe it is possible to get over this injury and come back whilst working full time, or even part time, against my rivals and if I stand any chance of pulling this off it needs to be all or nothing.
The initial surgery in 2016 discovered the underlying problem of Hip Dysplasia causing a detached labrum from the socket, which was also torn. This was reattached with two anchors. The Ligamentum Teres was ruptured off the socket and so badly damaged that it was removed, and the main issue being that 50% of the cartilage had worn off the middle of the acetabulum and femoral head (socket and ball). My surgeon, Professor Griffin, removed ten pieces of loose cartilage floating around the joint and did everything he could to keep me in the game for as long as possible moving towards Gold Coast 2018. After the damage in 2017 he went back in and found a more extensive tear of the labrum so an additional four anchors were put in. I was then up to anchors six holding it in place, and at this point my cartilage degradation was up to 75/80% gone and expected to be gone by 95% by the time I got to Gold Coast, if I even made it there. Finally, three days prior to the surgery we had finalised a plan and opted for a metal hip resurface. The Professor has deepened and moved the socket to make it more stable and has cut the femur instead of the muscle and tendon attachments to keep integrity and let the bone heal with no scar tissue. We believe this will heal strong and leave me the job of rehabbing to the highest level possible to then fight for fitness to make the team.
No matter the outcome I am going after this 100% until the end. I didn’t get as far as I have in my career by quitting and I’m not about to start now. We don’t do this for the money or for fame and it’s hard to explain the feeling of pride every time you pull on that vest. This year it has hit true to my heart more than ever realising that one day will be the last time I ever pull that vest on, but I would rather do that on my own terms and not succumb to times getting hard. If I have the financial security that I can get back to full time training I will get through the early stages of rehab and try to get myself either to Bisham Abbey or the Nad Al Sheba Sports Complex for sport specific rehab camps. Doing this should dramatically reduce my recovery time and enable me to get back in shape in preparation for next season, with an aim to be back for the qualifying window for the Olympics. After winning medals in Glasgow in 2014 and Gold coast earlier this year this gives me confidence in my ability to perform under pressure and deliver on the Olympic stage. The pledged support will be essential to fund my return and help me achieve my goal to win a medal for my country.
In summary, the pledged support will be used to:
- Initially get me back on my feet as I won’t be able to work for 6-8 weeks post surgery
- Enable me to Rehab fully
- Enable me to train full time in preparation for the 2020 Olympics
- Provide medical treatment and regular physiotherapy
Commonwealth Games Glasgow 2014
Commonwealth Games Gold Coast 2018