Lori Saccone knows how to smile through pain. As the second generation in a prominent family-owned restaurant and catering business in Ashburnham, MA, Saccone is the front line of customer service. She put on a smile for years to help run the fine dining restaurant and a commercial kitchen despite nagging hip pain and other health issues.
“In the hospitality business, you have to be on point all the time,” says Saccone. “I was hosting, working with clients, helping in the busy kitchen, lifting stock pots—I hated asking the staff to do things for me because of my hip pain.” But, she says, her body was deteriorating, and she knew she had to do something for the safety of her coworkers and so she could plan for her business’s future.
After the recommendations of many customers and friends, Saccone came to the Baptist, and to Carl Talmo, MD, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in hip replacement. Dr. Talmo diagnosed Saccone’s osteoarthritis and told her she needed hip replacement surgery. The good news was that she was a candidate for the less-invasive anterior approach. She had surgery in March of 2013.
“When Dr. Talmo first came in the room, well, he’s a presence, and I trusted him immediately,” Saccone says. “I was in a lot of pain; I couldn’t sleep at night. I had no idea that after surgery, not only would I be out of pain, but I would be more mobile and healthier than I’ve ever been in my entire life. When you’ve been sick and in pain your entire life, you don’t even realize you aren’t feeling well,” says Saccone. “Everything was better after my surgery; my overall health improved immensely, and I continue to feel better every day, even now. I sleep through the night, and the physical stress I was under for so many years is gone.”
Saccone has not only returned to work, but to gardening, walking, and, sometime soon, she plans, her beloved hobby of horseback riding.
She says her surgery was life-changing, and she wanted to thank the person who took her pain away. Saccone made a gift through Moving Gestures, New England Baptist Hospital’s grateful patient program, in honor of Dr. Talmo.
Her gift supports the hospital’s top priorities, such as research to enhance care for patients and scholarships to help nurses and other medical staff to advance their education and careers. And through the Moving Gestures program, Dr. Talmo was informed of her gift.
“As someone who has ‘been there,’ I want to support others who might be nervous but who need help from surgeons like Dr. Talmo at the Baptist,” Saccone says. “I still can’t believe this has happened to me, and I want to share that with others. I feel like I am a person I never was before. And it keeps getting better.”