Kerry McNamara

At 18 years old, Kerry McNamara’s whole feature lay ahead of her – bright and full of promise. After matriculating, Kerry planned on becoming a chef, contributing to the world by creating delicious dishes and making marvellous meals with her hands. However, Kerry’s dreams were shattered by a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis in her final year of school.

In rheumatoid arthritis, the body’s immune system attacks its own tissue – including the joints. Over long periods of time, the inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis can cause bone erosion and joint deformity.

For Kerry, this meant that her dreams of working with her hands would not come true. As the rheumatoid arthritis in Kerry’s body got progressively worse – despite medication – she lost function in both her hands. Not only could she not use them, but her hands hurt and living in a constant state of pain made Kerry’s life unbearable. Kerry also experienced that people were unkind upon seeing her deformed fingers, which greatly damaged her psyche.

However, Kerry was blessed with a fighting spirit and refused to give up. She applied to Operation Healing Hands and got approved for surgery in 2019. What a relief that was after previously being waitlisted (and having her surgery cancelled) at a government hospital.

Then Covid-19 hit, and Kerry’s OHH surgery became one of the casualties of this pandemic. As an organization, OHH scrambled to stay afloat in the difficult times that everyone nationwide was suddenly experiencing. Luckily, Kerry’s story does not end here.

Thanks to LottoStar, the Vertice Med Group and the team at OHH, Kerry – at the age of 43 – finally received the MP joint replacement surgery she so desperately needed earlier this year.

Kerry is looking forward to a pain and embarrassment free life doing what she loves – reaching the lives of others by using her hand.