Just in time for Christmas, woman receives free hip replacement from Clearwater hospital

CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) — Just in time for Christmas, one woman has received a life-changing present that you can’t wrap up or put a bow on from a Clearwater hospital.

Living in constant pain, it was difficult for Kimberly Goff to even walk for years.

“I quit going to the grocery. I would rarely go out to eat or anything because I was embarrassed to try to walk in public,” said Goff.

Goff desperately needed a hip replacement, but she didn’t have the means to pay for the expensive operation, which can easily top $25,000.

“I live from paycheck to paycheck to pay my bills, with a little bit left over,” said Goff.

Everything changed for Goff earlier this month after she was selected to receive a free hip replacement through Morton Plant Hospital’s participation with Operation Walk USA.

Through the program, Morton Plant Hospital covered the complete cost of joint replacement surgery for Goff and three other patients, including anesthesia, radiology and pathology, as well as medicine for 30 days and post-op physical therapy and home health care.

To select these patients, Morton Plant Hospital interviewed patients who were referred to them from the emergency room, health department or by free clinics in Clearwater. In order to qualify, patients had to be uninsured, but not on government assistance and had to meet the hospital’s poverty guidelines.

Operation Walk USA assisted in the donation of the implants used in the replacement surgeries.

“We are giving them their life back, for the most part…It’s very frustrating when you see somebody come in and they are debilitated, to the point where they can’t work and they can’t participate in normal activities…to be able to replace that joint and give them their life back…it’s hard to put a price on that,” said Dr. John Kilgore, who performed Goff’s surgery.

Just two weeks after her surgery, Goff can walk again with almost no pain, which is a gift she will treasure this Christmas and for many more to come.

“To lay down at night and not have any throbbing thing going on where you can’t sleep…it’s just been incredible, a miracle,” said Goff.

For more information on Operation Walk USA, visit opwalkusa.com.

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