Bath woman who underwent double hip operation to swim Serpentine

A Bath woman who underwent life-changing hip operations is training to swim the Serpentine in London to raise money for research into her condition.

Victoria Wells, 39, spent all of her childhood and a significant portion of her adult life enduring pain and disability due to congenital hip dysplasia.

The painful and disabling condition meant she was only able to walk short distances and has never been able to work.

But after attending a lecture by Professor Tony Miles, Director of the Centre for Orthopaedic Biomechanics at the University of Bath on Hip Replacement Research, she learnt that a complex hip operation could change her life.

Professor Miles introduced her to Professor Ian Learmonth from the University of Bristol who specialises in complex hip surgery.

This led to two hip joint replacement operations that have transformed Victoria's life resulting in her growing two inches taller and allowing her to live a life that is free from pain.

Now Victoria is training to swim one kilometre of the Serpentine on 13 September along with two orthopaedic surgeons and former University of Bath PhD student Hazel Boyd.

By taking part in the event the team is hoping to raise awareness of the benefits and life changing nature of joint replacement. They also want to raise money for further research into the subject.

Victoria said: "Swimming is about the best exercise after joint replacement, as it is a non-weight bearing activity and uses just about every muscle in your body. I have found this to be a hugely beneficial part of my rehabilitation and enjoy being weightless in water and gaining fitness at the same time."

Victoria is committed to telling others about her experience of chronic pain and encouraging people of all ages with hip disability and pain to fully explore the opportunities now available to enhance their lives.

She is the driving force behind a campaign to raise money to support Joint Replacement Research at the Centre for Orthopaedic Biomechanics at the University of Bath.

To sponsor the team go to

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