For Agnieska “Agnes” Hamiga, being on the receiving end of healthcare was a new experience.
A certified home health aide in Wallington, N.J., Agnes has been caring for the sick for more than 28 years. She typically cares for patients in their homes, occasionally being on duty for more than 24 hours at a time.
On a 2018 drive home from work with her husband, their vehicle collided with an ambulance, sending her to the hospital. Her right leg was injured, from her hip to her ankle, with swelling around her knee.
Agnes was referred to Joseph M. Bellapianta, M.D., orthopedic surgeon at Hackensack Meridian Mountainside Medical Center, who examined her and recommended total knee replacement surgery.
“I didn’t want the operation,” said Hamiga, “but Dr. Bellapianta recommended it. He was very warm and friendly, and his staff made me feel welcome. They took care of me like (I was) a family member. I knew I was in professional hands.”
After the surgery, she began physical therapy and monthly visits with Dr. Bellapianta, who showed her updated x-rays of her surgery. She remains very thankful that she had the operation on her weak leg. “The surgery saved my quality of life and my leg as well,” said Hamiga.
Now 69, she is able to “get back to work to do what I love to do: helping others.”
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