Meet Ken


Walk for Wishbone Tauranga, 19 May 2019

84-year-old Ken has his eye on the prize
March 2019

Ken is a keen Walk for Wishbone participant, with a special reason. In March 1982, he had his right hip replaced, and – even though it now needs re-doing – is holding out in the hope of winning the prize for the longest lasting joint replacement.

“Thirty-seven years ago I had my hip done by Ross Nicholson in Auckland. It’s still lasting, although it needs to be done again. My surgeon Richard and I think it’s the longest lasting joint replacement in New Zealand. There might be someone in the South Island who comes close, but we’re not sure.

“I said to Richard I might win the prize for the longest lasting joint replacement, so we’re holding off the replacement until after the walk!”

Orthopaedic surgeon Richard Keddell replaced Ken’s left hip about 15 years ago, and also replaced his knee six years ago.

“Being able to have joint replacement surgery is absolutely marvellous,” says Ken. “I’m still quite active, although I have a walking stick now, which is why I want the right hip done again.

“I like going for bush walks and I still play a bit of golf – get out and have a slash at it! I played tennis all my life and even after the first hip replacement I still played. I thought playing tennis might have contributed to the right hip going in the beginning. But Ross Nicholson said, not at all, probably had nothing to do with it.”

Ken, who is about to turn 84, will be taking part in the Tauranga Walk for Wishbone, which is being held at Tauranga Domain on Sunday 19 May at 10am. There are also walks being held in Wellington (Sunday 28 April, Hataitai Park, 2pm), and Auckland (Sunday 26 May, Eden Park, 12 noon).

Walk for Wishbone is the Wishbone Foundation’s major fundraiser. Funds raised go towards vital research into improving surgery and treatment for joint replacements and pain, broken bones, bone infections and cancers, congenital disorders and sports injuries.

Ken’s first surgeon, Ross Nicholson, died in 2013, aged 80. He is described as the founder of modern orthopaedic medicine in New Zealand, and is associated with the introduction of hip replacement surgery in 1967.