Two years ago, Lynda Jones lived for walking her dogs in the fields surrounding her home in Pembroke Dock.

Despite the pain from her osteoarthritis and the severe deterioration of her right hip, Lynda’s love of the outdoors ensured that every day, come rain or shine, she’d do her best to go out for a walk.

Fast forward to October 2023 and Lynda’s days are spent lying on a corner settee, her legs covered in a lightweight blanket.

The pain which she’s enduring from her right hip is now so intense that not even her prescribed morphine can alleviate it. The ball of her hip has penetrated through its socket to such an extent that there is fear that it is starting to intrude on her internal organs, and all the muscle that she once had has wasted away.

And yet the NHS is failing to support her.

“It’s come to the point where I just want to end it all,” she says, close to tears.

“The constant agony I’m enduring makes me want to scream as my hip is no longer able to support my leg and I’ve recently been told that because I’ve lived with this condition for so long, I’ve now got scoliosis of the spine.”

Lynda, who’s 73, was diagnosed with osteoarthritis when she was 58. She was told that both her hips would need replacing, however was advised to wait until she was at least 60 before having surgery.

Her left hip, which was the weakest, was replaced in 2013 however she was told that her right hip couldn’t be operated on until her right knee was first replaced.

“Obviously the knee takes all the weight and because it was in such a bad condition, this had to be done first,” she explains.

“But I was told that once my knee had settled, I’d be called back in to have my hip done.”

On September 13, 2018, Lynda was admitted to Werndale Hopsital in Banycfelin and her right knee was successfully replaced.

That, sadly, was the last time she was granted surgery despite the horrific deterioration of her right hip.

Western Telegraph: An x-ray of Lynda's hip in April 2016An x-ray of Lynda's hip in April 2016 (Image: Lynda Jones)

Western Telegraph: The x-ray shows the extent of Lynda's hip deterioration in September 2023.The x-ray shows the extent of Lynda's hip deterioration in September 2023. (Image: Lynda Jones)

Since her surgery at Werndale, Lynda has found herself at the back of the waiting list. She has been told that pre-covid patients are currently being given precedence, despite the fact that her orthopaedic treatment first began way back in 2008.

Three weeks ago, following yet another fall at her home, her daughter, Lucy Harris, took her to Withybush Hospital’s A&E department.

“When the radiologist saw the state of my hip bone, his words to Lucy were ‘How the hell can she be living like this?' He couldn’t believe what he was seeing.

“I’m currently on eight MSTs a day [morphine sulphate], 40mg of slow release morphine twice a day and oral morphine on top of all that. 

"I try not to take this as I’m scared of addiction but yesterday I was in so much pain I took three during the day and another one when I was trying to go to sleep. But none of this helps. All it does is make me sleep and two hours later I wake up in agony again.

“Two-and-a-half years ago I was in a lot of pain but I was still moving and would sometimes walk four miles a day. But now I feel I’m no longer in the NHS box because they’re doing nothing to help me. It’s as if they’re just leaving me here to die.

“Earlier this week I was told that I’ll be seeing a consultant, but there’s a six-month waiting list. And then he’ll decide whether he can operate. But the longer they take, the more it’s costing the NHS. To replace my hip back in 2018 would have been £13,000 but now, because of its deterioration, it could be around £30,000.

“My dream has always been to go to Crete and the other day my grandson said he’d take me.  But I know I'll never make it.

"All I want is to be free of pain again and carry on with my life.

“But I don’t recognise myself in photographs anymore because that’s not the person I know.”

Meanwhile Keith Jones, Director of Secondary Care at Hywel Dda University Health Board stated, after being contacted by the Western Telegraph:

"We are unable to comment on individual cases due to patient confidentiality, however, we have been in touch with Ms Jones recently and a member of the consultant team will follow up soon regarding her treatment.

"At Hywel Dda University Health Board our aim is that people wait the shortest time possible from initial symptoms to starting treatment.

"If a patient has any concerns regarding their treatment, we urge them to contact our Patient Support Service for help and guidance."