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Participant Spotlight: Gary

May 9, 2022

Gary is 34 and followed the Sapien programme when he was preparing for a hip replacement. He has now had the surgery and says his recovery has gone really well. He feels Sapien was able to help with preparing him both physically and mentally, and his favourite thing was the regular support from his coach and working towards the goals they set together. Gary says Sapien “does what it says on the tin!” and would recommend the programme to anyone who is offered it.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m Gary and I am 34. I needed a hip replacement and kept putting it off but it came to a point in the middle of last year where I was told I needed to have the operation. I couldn’t walk much or do much exercise at all and I was really sore. I have had the operation now and my recovery has gone really well.

Why did you choose to join the Sapien prehabilitation programme?

I was offered Sapien and I decided to join as I liked the fact that it was independent from the NHS and I could use it on an app which made it easy to access. I was really glad I did as my coach really helped me. 

Since completing the programme, how has your approach to managing your own health changed?

In preparation for my surgery I lost around 11 pounds through improving my diet and walking more. I was also doing more strengthening exercises. My coach also helped me set step targets each day which pushed me a bit and I met most of those that we set together. I was so nervous before the surgery especially due to the anaesthetic, but my coach helped to reassure me and provide me with all of the options. 

I thought that after the surgery I would struggle to lose weight like I had done before but as it happened that wasn’t the case and I actually lost weight in recovery too. I’m back driving now and I’m comfortable moving, my doctor is over the moon with my progress! I’m all good. 

How did your mindset change before the surgery?

Sapien just gave me a bit more of a peace of mind. I’d look at things online and hear horror stories about having a hip replacement. My coach sent me some videos to explain the process and I spoke to him most weeks. 

It just helped my mindset be a bit more positive. Given how much I was worried and concerned I was about the operation, Sapien certainly helped to give me a stronger mindset.

What did you like most about the Sapien programme?

My coach was brilliant. It would have to be speaking to him and feeling comfortable speaking to someone who helped. 

You can go on an app or online to read things but I always find it’s better to be speaking to someone regularly too. That was certainly the best thing about it. The step count goals to hit were also a good thing to help me prepare.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about joining the Sapien programme?

I’d fully recommend it. It does what it says on the tin! I was told I would have someone to speak to, that I would get information about my surgery and that it would help me keep check on my exercise. It did all of those things.