Still Competing–and Winning!: Active Adults
You might have a difficult time catching up with Maryann Zeppetello, but if you do, you’ll quickly learn that she is a fascinating woman who continues to lead an incredibly active life. After raising three children, Maryann returned to college and earned her Master’s degree in social work. In addition to operating a successful private, social work practice, Maryann filled her leisure time with anything but leisurely activities. In track, as a swimmer, tennis player, and downhill skier, she has participated in NASTAR competitions and the Senior Games and has won several medals.
Maryann began skiing in her mid-40s because her new career afforded her the extra funds to take up the sport. A life-long athlete, she had always wanted to ski because of her self-proclaimed “love for speed and a challenge.” She quickly excelled in the sport and became a ski instructor, a position she held for ten years. Unfortunately, she was forced to stop teaching when she began to suffer from severe groin pain. In fact, the pain became so intense that she was no longer able to sleep through the night. For nearly two years, doctors were unable to diagnosis her problem. When she was finally diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the hip, she began to consider a hip transplant.
However, traditional implants didn’t interest Maryann because she felt they would not allow the range of motion necessary for her to continue participating in her favorite sports. The answer to her problems came unexpectedly from a television program: “I was watching T.V. one night, and I saw a special on a ballet dancer who was no longer able to do what he most loved, dance. He had both hips “replaced” with a different type of surgery and was back dancing within a year. With the internet, I was able to research the transplant, which is called the metal on metal Conserve Plus. When I inquired about a provider in my area, the closest one was Sinai Hospital in Baltimore,” relates Maryann. Reviewing the impressive credentials of Dr. Michael Mont, her orthopedic surgeon at Sinai Hospital, was the final step in Maryann’s decision process.
Of the recovery process and life since the transplant, Maryann has a positive outlook: “I had the surgery in March, and I won the bronze medal for the backstroke at the Senior Games in May and was playing tennis by July. I was skiing by the next season, and I’m even teaching again now.” Life has changed so much since the transplant that Maryann has adopted a new personal slogan to explain to inquiring friends how she feels: “I tell my friends I have no cane, no pain, no medicine, and no limp.” Returning to her active life-style has left with “nothing but a smile” on her face. And she is incredibly thankful for the advanced facility and expert physician and his staff that made it all possible. “Life has really started over again for me,” relates Maryann, who has no plans to stop playing and winning. Let’s just hope the competition can keep up!