“He’s not the man I wed... but we’ve fallen in love again”

NDET 27-9-12 MC 6'Stan and Kay Padley, after Stan was left severely disabled following a hip operation.
NDET 27-9-12 MC 6'Stan and Kay Padley, after Stan was left severely disabled following a hip operation.

We’ve fallen in love again, says Kay Padley, gazing at her husband Stan.

Stan smiles back too and although he can no longer speak his eyes are full of emotion.

Stan Padley in his Army Uniform

Stan Padley in his Army Uniform

Stan, a former IT expert whose job took him across the world, including working for the RAF, was left wheelchair bound and unable to speak or move after a routine hip operation.

To date doctors have been unable to say what happened during the ‘hip resurfacing procedure’ and after a long legal battle the couple have been told they will not receive any compensation as the surgeon followed correct procedure.

Stan, 53, of Chartwell Avenue, Wingerworth, suffered arthritis pain in his hip while playing golf, so decided to pay privately for the procedure – a surgical alternative to total hip replacement – at Chesterfield Royal Hospital in 2008.

But following surgery Stan did not wake up for over a week and when he came round a CT scan revealed three parts of his brain had been damaged.

Unable to move, speak or care for himself he was confined to a hospital bed.

He could not move his right arm and his right hand to be amputated. Wife Kay, 52, was told Stan would never come home.

Kay said: “The doctors said he’ll need 24-7 care and won’t come home. I thought he will come home, if it’s the last thing I do.”

Determined Kay decorated her husband’s hospital room with his beloved Liverpool FC posters and it was only when Kay’s son Matt, 28, from a previous marriage, realised Stan understood what they were saying that a massive breakthrough was made.

Kay said: “Stan used to just stare and swing his left arm.

“After about two months Matt said I’m sure Stan knows what we’re saying and asked if he could point to Torres in the poster. He lifted his left arm and pointed and we knew he understood.”

Through Kay’s dedication Stan began to communicate by pointing to ‘yes’ and ‘no’ cards and Kay put together a book of phrases as well as helping Stan build strength in his left arm.

After nine months Stan was able to leave hospital and return home.

Kay said: “Everyone’s been surprised by his progress. Anybody who saw him right at the beginning after the operation compared to now would just be amazed.”

After physio and support from Kay, Stan, who was once a keen sportsman playing golf, ten pin bowling and football, was able to take his first steps at home.

Kay said: “We all cried. He had come so far.”

Despite challenges Stan is able to communicate through a computer and last month thanks to generous donations from the RAF and his friend Mike Bates, of the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes, he was able to buy a £7,000 high-tech wheelchair which has given him back some independence

She added: “When all this happened we didn’t know for the first 24 hours whether he would survive. I remember going to bed crying and saying if you have to have a life take mine and save Stan. I had found my soul mate I couldn’t bear to lose him.”

“When he came round it was like losing someone, but not. Even though he was there, he was not my Stan.”

“Since he has been getting better he is not the man I married any more. He is totally different but we’ve fallen in love again, but in a different way,” she said.

The couple met on a dating site and lived together for two years before marrying in 2005. Stan worked as an IT architect, designing complex networks for big companies.

Kay said: “Before the operation he was a suit and tie man.

“He very rarely wanted to go out, now Stan wants to be out everywhere all the time.

“We’ve been to Alton Towers, he likes to go to the cinema and to see ice hockey. He never would have done that before.”

Stan also took part in the Jane Tomlinson Walk For All 4.5mile walk and wheel event.

The couple have faced many changes – Stan can no longer eat or drink and has to be fed through a PEG tube.

Kay said: “He can’t comb his hair and can’t brush his teeth. We can’t do normal things like go for a coffee or go out for a meal.”

But Stan’s new wheelchair has given him a new lease of life. He is now able to go to the shops alone and take his dogs for a walk.

He also runs a pc and laptop repair service from home.

Kay said: “Stan has said many times if he hadn’t got me he would have gone into a home. He would have given up.

“Life can be cruel sometimes but we do what we can and make the most of things.”

Stan, typing into his computer, told us: “It’s been very difficult to keep going” and added “sheer determination” had got him through.

Tears welled in his eyes as Kay described how she could not cope without him and he said simply she was “his rock”.

A spokesman for private health care group BMI Healthcare, who dealt with Mr Padley’s operation, said: “Under our arrangements at the time patients were admitted to the Chatsworth Suite for their ward care. Operating theatres and other clinical support services were provided under contract by the NHS Chesterfield Royal Hospital. For any patients who may have developed post-operative complications intensive care treatment was also provide by the trust.

“All types of surgery carry risks and complications and sometimes have very sad consequences but are not due to any fault of the clinicians or treatment.”

Chesterfield Royal Hospital added: “All surgery - no matter how routine - carries risks; and an outline of these will form part of the consent to have any operation. Care and treatment can be absolutely appropriate but sadly some patients still go on to experience complications; some of which can be life-changing and devastating.”