Reaching New Heights

Adventurous postman James Spittal, aged 64 is back on track with achieving his dream of reaching K2 base camp, thanks to Spire Fylde Coast Hospital, writes Meena McDonald

James completed the amazing challenge of trekking to the Everest Base Camp in 2018 and on his return decided on the K2 adventure, however, with Covid restrictions combined with excruciating back problems, this had to be postponed.

Following a referral from his GP, James went to see Mr Khatri, Consultant Orthopaedic Spinal Surgeon at Spire Fylde Coast Hospital, where he was informed that he had Lumber Spinal Stenosis and would require surgery.

Being fully aware of NHS waiting lists, James was overjoyed at being informed his operation would take place in a couple of months.

James commented: “After my initial consultation, I had complete confidence in Mr Khatri and his skills and expertise. He had explained the risk attached with spinal surgery, but I felt incredibly positive about the outcome. He informed me that the micro decompression surgery I required carried a 70-80 per cent chance of excellent results, along with a 5 per cent chance of no change to my condition and a 1 per cent chance that it could get worse. After assessing my options, I decided it was well worth going through with the operation so I could get back on track with life and achieve my ambitions.”

The day after the successful operation, James was back home recovering and is continuing to make excellent progress.

James’ desire for exploration started at the age of 17 when he saved up enough money doing casual jobs to travel to Las Vegas by himself to see Elvis! He realised then that he was a very outdoor person and loved hill walking and cycling. Over the years this had to be restricted to the winter months because he ran a seasonal shop in the centre of Blackpool.

Following his wife’s death in 2003, James and a friend decided they would climb Kilimanjaro which they found thoroughly exhilarating, leading to further exciting adventures. He also sold his car around 15 years ago and cycling and walking everywhere which helps him to keep fit.

James continued: “I have every intention of recovering from this surgery and am so grateful for the support and care I have received from Spire Fylde Coast Hospital. I plan to get back on track with my fitness as soon as possible and complete the K2 expedition in Pakistan in 2022.”

James’ determination to overcome any setbacks is certainly commendable and he’s well on his way to recovering from his operation and achieving his life ambitions.

Mr Khatri Consultant Orthopaedic Spinal Surgeon commented: “It was a pleasure to meet James and to be able to treat him and offer surgery here at Spire Fylde Coast. I wish him every success on his K2 challenge in 2022.”

Rather than struggle and have their lives restricted, many people are instead choosing to utilise private health cover or self-fund procedures to enable them to get back to living their lives as they choose.

Those individuals wishing to access private healthcare services also have the option of 0 per cent finance for a 12-month period through the hospital.

Spire Fylde Coast Hospital
St. Walburgas Road, Blackpool FY3 8BP
Main Switchboard: 01253 394188
Self-pay treatment enquiries: 01253 308031



Tedd Walmsley

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