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Patient Stories

For 40 years, Kristin Dole has worked as a veterinary technician at a busy animal clinic in Greater Boston.

“All day long, I’m squatting, lifting animals, getting up and down off the floor,” Kristin says. “Some of the dogs I care for weigh 150 pounds!”

Kristin always led an active life outside of work, too. She rides horses, lifts weights, and rides her bike. She has to stay in shape to do her job.

So when her lifelong knee problems began to interfere with her work and daily life, she turned to New England Baptist Hospital for help.

“It all started when I was in high school and injured my left knee,” Kristin says. Over the years, she says her knee pain increased, and she saw specialists at NEBH.

“They imaged my left knee six years ago and told me my ACL had deteriorated beyond repair,” Kristin says. The anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, is one of the key parts of the knee that stabilizes the joint. “I had surgery at the Baptist to replace my ACL and repair my meniscus. After my surgery, I was out of pain and back to my busy life.”

But then, over time, Kristin’s right knee began to hurt. She completed physical therapy at NEBH, injections, and wore an offloading brace so she could get around comfortably.

“But my body was compensating for my bad knee—I developed degenerative scoliosis and my back started to hurt,” Kristin says. “My physical therapist finally said, ‘Kristin, it’s time for surgery on your right knee, too.’”

So Kristin turned to the Baptist again, and saw joint replacement expert Dr. Carl Talmo.

“Dr. Talmo did a total knee replacement on me last January, and it was a wonderful experience…NEBH offers pre-surgical classes so you know what to expect, and the rooms and staff were excellent,” Kristin says. “The surgery went so smoothly that I wondered why I put it off for so long.”

Kristin says that since her surgery, life has changed. Her knee is not in any pain and her back improved, too. She says she works with great physical therapists once a month to make sure everything remains strong and flexible.

“I was back at work a month after surgery, and now I’m back to doing pretty much everything—I’m carrying heavy loads; lifting 50 pound dogs,” Kristin says. “I’m back to lifting weights, spinning, and with my horses, I’m mucking stalls, lifting water buckets, and riding without any pain!”

Kristin says is grateful to her caregivers at NEBH for returning her to her busy life and hopes sharing her story will inspire others to support the hospital philanthropically.

“Being able to move without pain is a gift that the Baptist gives each patient, every day,” says Kristin. “The support of grateful patients like me plays an important role in returning others to their work, their lives!”

If you would like to make a gift in honor of your NEBH caregiver, click here.

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