[unscripted]: Joe Collopy's Story

​In the 11th episode of [unscripted], Joe Collopy, beloved father of eight, shares how the support of his large and loving family helped him through a recent hip replacement and subsequent heart procedure for a condition that had previously gone undetected. Grab a tissue and enjoy this warm reminder to give thanks for the ones we love. This is Joe's story, in his own words ... unscripted.

Letters from home

I'm reading some letters from, I guess, friends and family that have sent me some comments here, so, this is from my daughter, Becca. "My Dad is one of the most selfless people I know. He is constantly putting his family and community before himself. I look up to this quality and find it so inspiring. My Dad took me to Alaska for my senior trip before he decided to have his hip surgery. Before we left he got a shot in his hip to lessen the pain because he knew we'd be doing a lot of hiking. The shot, unfortunately, did not do much, but he never let on that he was struggling. Nothing ever keeps that man down."

Lifetime Northern Kentuckian
I grew up, pretty much in the Cincinnati area. Across the river in Ft. Thomas. I played some sports in grade school and went onto high school and played some football for a local team and went off to college, Eastern Kentucky University and met my wife when I was a junior there. We got married in 1983, and had eight kids after that. Five boys, three girls, ranging from 34-years-old, all the way down to 11. A lot of stuff going on, lot of craziness at our house but wouldn't have it any other way.

Declining mobility
Three years ago I injured my hip running up my front steps at my house. I really, really pulled my hip out to the point where I lost mobility in it. I couldn't put my shoe and sock on. Going up and down steps, I had to take one step at a time. So I went in and saw the doctor. He gave me some cortisone shots, injections, right into the hip. Right into the area that it was affected. He was pretty hopeful that that was gonna give me some relief and then allow that to heal. Unfortunately, it didn't. We talked about options of replacing my hip.

A fluttering heart
Anyway, I scheduled it, but little different order, so I went in for my first colonoscopy, five days before my hip replacement. While I was in there unfortunately for me, or fortunately, probably, my EKG was off, and I went into atrial flutter. I called The Christ Hospital and they got me in to see Dr. Abbottsmith. What a great guy he is. Thursday, I ran a couple tests, Friday morning I come in for a echocardiogram, a stress test, just all kinds of blood work, the whole thing. Dr. Abbottsmith was great. He said, look, everything checks out fine go have your surgery and after you get your hip taken care of we'll take a look at your heart.

Family visits
I guess it was November 9th, I was right here at The Christ Hospital, having my hip replaced. The surgery went well as planned, so was in and out, scheduled and went up to recovery. Went up to my private room, which was really nice. I'm a pretty emotional guy. It was great because my whole family ... my whole family was able to be there with me when I came out. We had literally, I think, 16 people in our room. The doctor came in and said, are all these people yours? I said, all but one. It was neat having everybody there. We had just a small party, but since then it's been great.

Back to life
I get out walking with my wife now. We go walking in the mornings. We've got MyFitnessPal now on our phones and we're in our tenth week of 10,000 steps a day or more, and I've lost some weight, and it's just been great. I was at a baseball game recently for my grandson, I was tossing with my youngest grandson, Carter, and he would throw the ball and it never comes to you so you always have to go get it, and you know, didn't bother me one bit. Where, nine months ago you know, it just would have worn me out. I would have called one of my kids over to play with him instead of me having that enjoyment to do it.

For me, that whole time period was really short. I was kinda shocked because I had the hip replacement and literally, I waited, I had to wait a few months but as soon as that time was up I went right in for the heart piece and scheduled my surgery. According to Dr. Pelchovitz, my heart surgery for atrial flutter was textbook. I don't have to go back and see him for a year unless I feel like I need to but right now it's going real well.

Letters from the kids

"I love my Dad he has always been there for all my siblings and me. I was genuinely worried about his health and decline in activity before his surgery, but since he's had his surgery, I've noticed a massive increase of physical activity level and daily exuberance. My Dad means everything to me. He's always been there to take care of us and now he's taking care of himself. I'm so proud of him. He's always been a role model to me. He's led by example and continues to amaze me with his hard work, dedication and determination. I couldn't be more proud of my Dad."

For more stories, visit www.TheChristHospital.com/unscripted