My name is Bernice DiFelice. I am 57 years old and I have osteoarthritis.

I have always had a very active lifestyle, playing tennis, swimming, mountain bicycling, hiking, walking all until about 5 years ago when my advanced arthritis caused me to limit my activities. This was due in part to numerous falls caused by the arthritis in my knees. The right knee being more involved than the left.

For twenty-three plus years I have been employed as a full time paraprofessional in the medical field. Eighteen of which I worked for an Orthopedic Surgeon.

My experience includes working with patients who had total joint replacement, reconstruction, fractures and rheumatoid arthritis.

On May 8, 2002, I had total knee replacement of the right knee. I spent three days in the hospital and then six additional days at a skilled nursing facility for rehabilitation before coming home to live with my new knee.

At home I was given 10 days of Home Care Physical Therapy which was provided by my local VNA before being discharged to an outpatient therapy department. Along with the excellent care and support provided by my therapist, I was introduced to and was allowed to try a wonderful new, customized chair. This chair was specifically designed to aid in rehabilitating patients post op replacement of hips and knees.

The Made Rite chair made of lightweight aluminum permitted easy folding for "take with you" convenience. It fit easily in the trunk or back seat of my SUV, which meant that I always had the comfort of my own chair with me. It also provided the security of a sturdy, 'lock in' position high back, and grip handles for easy in and out, assisting security in standing up.

The chair is customized to fit to your height. Cushion is adjusted to allow full back support, therefore, relieving additional stress on hips and back. Slight flexion construction with sturdy grip feet allows you to stretch and do ROM and strengthening exercises while sitting comfortably with firm support.

I feel that the use of this special chair has been extremely beneficial to me and feel that it should be considered for all post-op joint reconstruction patients as well as for patients with special medical needs. Allowing a patient to have the added security of a customized, lightweight, portable chair promotes the patient's well being and further allows them to have a productive, comfortable lifestyle.

Thank you for the opportunity to use this wonderful chair.

Bernice DiFelice

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