“I remember being at a real low point, says Debbie Craig of Forty Fort. The 55-year-old weighed over 400 pounds. Her knees hurt from her weight. She carried the stress and trauma of childhood abuse. And she was the caregiver for her husband during his battle with leukemia. “One day I went to the gym and tried to figure out where to start. I picked the pool, because nobody would notice me crying,” she says.
As she started her journey to get healthier, Debbie met orthopaedic surgeon Dr. James Murphy D., and physician’s assistant Robert Emery.
“Dr. Murphy gave me knee injections, and I felt like superwoman! He and Rob researched my PTSD and really helped me work through that. They were so gentle.”
The injections lasted just through the winter of 2018, when her husband Dick passed away. “I put off getting my knees done because I had to put him first. After he passed, I knew I what I had to do next.”
Then she met Tom. “Tom was there the whole time, taking such great care of me through the knee surgeries,” she said. “Of course, I fell for him.”
Still recovering from surgery, Debbie laced up her white sneakers and slipped on her lace gown for their June wedding. Dr. Murphy and Rob were happily guests, watching her ballroom dance down the aisle just before she said, “I do.”
“I never would have been able to dance at my wedding if it wasn’t for Dr. Murphy and Robert,” she said. “I wear shorts now, and I am proud of the scars on my knees.”
Today, Debbie has a new occupation. “After nearly six years out of work, I’m in customer service now. I chose to work at Geisinger. They’re my family,” she said.