A north-east politician says he is looking forward to walking with his son for the first time after a “life-changing” operation.
Stephen Flynn, who is an MP representing Aberdeen South, underwent a hip replacement earlier this week to combat a serious condition.
Mr Flynn, 31, has suffered from Avascular Necrosis since his teens – leaving him unable to walk without sticks or crutches for the past 17 years.
The condition causes a loss of blood flow to the bone, which can lead to it effectively crumbling.
But now, after undergoing surgery on Monday, Mr Flynn is looking forward to a new lease of life – with a walk on the beach with his baby son top of his to-do list.
I went from being a sports daft teenager to spending long periods in my bed at home or in hospital”
He said: “Some 17 years ago I was walking through school and collapsed – it was an unimaginable pain and, as classes were already in, I was left to drag myself along a corridor to try and get support.
“That day changed my life immeasurably. I went from being a sports daft teenager to spending long periods in my bed at home or in hospital as doctors tried to figure out what had happened.
“After some time they eventually realised that I had a debilitating hip condition that left me in constant pain, unable to move around without aides and forever waking up during the night.”
Mr Flynn added: “I have a sparkly new hip and I’ll be spending the next few weeks heeding the advice of the physios so that I can again enjoy the simple things in life – with a pain-free walk along the beach with my little boy being top of the list.
“I can’t thank the NHS staff at Woodend Hospital enough – they’ve been so helpful and supportive and have changed my life for the better.”
Mr Flynn admitted his condition had brought its fair share of difficult moments, including verbal abuse from strangers, but he is now looking forward to a new start.
He said: “It is a condition that has had a huge impact on my life both physically and emotionally – but I’ve no doubt that I would not be where I am today without it.
“There have been many difficult moments over the years – not least the verbal abuse you receive from random people calling you a ‘cripple’ – but thankfully that is all now in the past.”