It's been a tough few months but I'm getting through it. The second surgery to remove the tumor, surrounding bone and completely replace the hip was a success in the eyes of the doctors and they are confident the future looks good.
It's nearly a month since the second op and everything is healing well. The 46 staples are out and I can shuffle around on crutches and movement is starting to return to my leg. I'm still not allowed to put much weight on the leg yet. I have to wait for the whole area to set and take to the prosthesis. Every day gets a little better but we are talking in millimeters. It looks like I could be on crutches for another few months at least. It's going to be a very long recovery road but I am definitely up to the task.
I'm really not sure what the future holds at the moment and I'm basically taking it day to day. My first goal is to walk unassisted, from there I will build up the strength in my leg so that I can begin other exercises like riding and swimming. I will be in rehab every day and this will be my main focus until I am satisfied that I have done everything I can to get as strong and fit as possible. Eventually I will look at getting back in the water but that's a long way down the track. I could be riding a malibu or I could be an improved version of the old me, I'll just have to wait and see.
Obviously I would love to return to competitive surfing, and that is what I will be working towards regardless of the outcome, but for now it is just too soon to tell. From all indications from the doctors, the rehab process will be very long and it was on their recommendation that I take the whole year off to monitor progress and later determine whether a return to professional surfing is even going to be an option. If I reach the stage where I feel that I can compete successfully then I will consider applying for the wild card but for now my health is my main concern.
I will also be having regular check-ups to make sure that the tumor does not return to the area or any other parts of my body.
Realistically, there was no chance of me being on tour this year so I was happy to withdraw my position and let Bede have a another crack it. He is an amazing surfer who deserves to be on the WCT and I'm sure he will make it known the second time around.
I have a follow-up appointment on Tuesday with my surgeon, Dr Brien, to review my progress and make some plans about future rehab, healing times and when I will able to return to Australia.
My wife Amanda and I are still over in the U.S. and I'm staying just above Trestles with Dr. Warren Kramer and his family. He has operated on a bunch of the guys on tour and has been monitoring my progress. He has been instrumental in this whole process from start to the present.
I'm obviously really disappointed that I won't be able to compete on tour this year but that's really just an after thought to what is going on in my life right now. I am keeping a positive and optimistic attitude about what has happened and about the future and I'm using this experience to learn more about my life. – Richie Lovett
An auction held at the ASP Banquet this Saturday will raise funds to help Richie offset the enormous medical costs of the procedure. If you’d like to contribute please contact the persons below and show your support:
Lisa Chaney: email@example.com or
Dean Prosser: firstname.lastname@example.org
In the USA
Sean Smitha: email@example.com or
Melinda Carter: firstname.lastname@example.org
or send donations to SIMA,
attn: Richie Lovett Fundraiser, 8 Argonaut, Suite 170, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656.