Four orthopaedic surgery patients have formed a unique bond, after spending time together recovering from their operations at Epworth Geelong during lockdown.

Julie Matthews, Kate Bush, Vicci Crowley-Clough and Glenda Pitman had surgery in August this year.

With current restrictions in place, visitors are not permitted into Epworth hospitals, so rehabilitation registrar Dr Julie Carlile suggested the four women start a walking group to pass the hours between rehabilitation and occupational therapy appointments.

“We understand this is a difficult time for everyone,” Dr Carlile said.

“I think it’s great that patients are finding ways of supporting each other when they are not able to have visitors.”

Julie Matthews said the four women formed a close friendship after spending hours together.

“We started a walking and chat group to help pass the hours and had a ball,” Julie said.

“We shared our stories regarding how we all wound up in the orthopaedic ward, how many metal plates, screws and stiches we had”.

The conversation soon turned to how they got their first jobs, sharing recipes, family photos and solving the world’s problems.

The group has been reunited at their post-surgery follow-up appointments to compare notes on their recoveries, with many more catch-ups planned.


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