Today, Jeff Boorsma, 55, can ride tandem with his 3-year-old grandson Gavin across the Blue Bridge in Grand Rapids thanks to two, single hip replacements at Mercy Health. He’s already cycled across the United States, so the Blue Bridge is an easy ride.
Before his left hip began to bother him, Jeff was a runner and completed triathlons with his children. He had to stop running due to debilitating hip pain, and that’s when Jeff gained weight — he was up to 290 pounds.
In 2015 — after three years in pain — Jeff consulted orthopedic surgeon Bryan J. Pack, MD, at River Valley Orthopedics and had his first surgery at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s. His hip pain was caused by bone on bone, and following surgery the pain “was instantly gone,” says Jeff.
“The care I got at Mercy Health was wonderful. From check-in to check-out, they were very good with me. I was strong with my rehab and worked hard to get healthy because I needed a way to keep moving,” explains Jeff.
Jeff was able to lose some weight after his first surgery, but in 2016, Jeff returned to Dr. Pack before the pain in his other hip became too severe.
“One day I was sitting in my lounge chair rehabbing after my second hip surgery and feeling sorry for myself. I saw TV documentary about the 2014 inaugural TransAmerica bike race that inspired me to take up biking,” explains Jeff. “I bought a bike and began to train, and in 2017, I soloed the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail.”
After his 4,300 mile bike “tour,” Jeff got down to 240 pounds and has been able to maintain that weight ever since.
“I’m grateful for this second chance to be healthy and active with my grandkids. My hips feel great.” Jeff encourages patients to avoid being sedentary after surgery. “Rehab can be painful, but it’s worth it because you’ll be able to enjoy life again.”