Gary Thompson's world came crashing down as he cycled to work one morning.
The triathlete was knocked off his bike by a car, suffering a shattered clavicle. It could have been worse, but Gary, a fireman at Manchester Airport, still needed major surgery and that put paid to his plans to take part in a gruelling triathlon, which starts with a 2.4 mile swim, then straight on to a bike for a 112 mile cycle ride, then a 26.2 mile marathon.
Gary had trained solidly for 27 weeks for the event, which earns those who complete it within a 17 hour time limit an "Ironman" badge of honour. Gary, 35, of Poynton, wanted the best upper limb surgeon available to help him on the road to recuperation. Luckily for Gary, he was admitted under the care of Mr. Mohammad Waseem, at Macclesfield's District General Hospital.
Mr Waseem put in a hook plate with an artificial ligament to stabilise Gary's broken clavicle and acromioclavicular joint. Mr Waseem told Gary, that he would need further surgery to his shoulder to remove the metal work, but Gary did not want to wait any longer than necessary and also desperately wanted Mr Waseem to do his second operation.
Fortunately for Gary, the driver of the car who knocked him off his bike, had fully comprehensive insurance and the insurance company agreed to pay for Gary to have his surgery done privately. This meant that Gary could choose when and where to have his operation. Gary had already done his homework by looking up various upper limb surgeons on the internet and reading about Mr Waseem's experience with sport's people and Gary's type of injury, plus with family recommendation, Gary chose to have his surgery done by Mr Waseem at Spire Regency Hospital in Macclesfield.
Gary's second op was done at the beginning of December 2012, when Mr Waseem removed the metalwork and excised the scar. Due to the weight of the fire-fighting equipment and physical nature of his job, Gary will not be able to go back to work for several weeks. He is now having regular physiotherapy at the Regency Hospital and is ready to resume his triathlon training.
"Swimming will be the most challenging discipline, due to the range of movement in the shoulder needed for freestyle" said Gary. Despite feeling low at times, Gary has remained very positive throughout his treatment.
"I always feel very relaxed when I come to the Regency, everyone I come in to contact with makes me feel well looked after" says Gary.
He added that he had full confidence in his Spire surgeon; "He's the perfect man for the job."
For more information on any procedure at the Spire Regency Hospital, please call Customer Services on 01625 505412