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Profile: George Woodall

Taking a big, pain-free step forward

George Woodall enjoys time with his family following surgical treatment of painful arthritis in his foot.

“I’m looking forward to many long years ahead with a happy family life… Project Access and Dr. Grabowski made that possible.”

—George Woodall,
Podiatry
Patient

I’m a real optimist, I always have been,” says George Woodall, a Seattle artist and teacher. “When you start a new family at the age of 50, you want to enjoy every moment,” Woodall explains. “I felt like I had a new start when I married Marina and Gretta was born.” 

Woodall’s life changed dramatically during a trip to Russia for one of his art shows, when he formed a close friendship with his interpreter, Marina. They married and had a lovely daughter, Gretta.Unfortunately, soon after his daughter was born in 1999, Woodall dropped a board on his left foot. The foot wasn’t broken, but it was painful and didn’t seem to be getting better. Although Woodall has had health insurance off and on over the years, he was uninsured at the time and didn’t know where to go for help. He kept the pain to himself for several years. When Gretta became old enough to want to run and play with her dad, he realized he couldn’t keep up. He couldn’t join the family on their daily walks; in fact he could hardly stand without pain. It was time to do something. 

Through his primary care doctor and Project Access, Woodall was referred to Gregory Grabowski, DPM, a specialist in podiatry and reconstructive surgery. 

“George had really painful arthritis of the mid-foot,” Dr. Grabowski explains. “We were able to surgically fuse the two arthritic joints. The procedure is not particularly difficult, and George found that his foot felt better even before he started walking on it.”

For Woodall, the surgery felt like a new lease on life. “I’m looking forward to many long years ahead with a happy family life,” he says. “Project Access Northwest and Dr. Grabowski made that possible.” 

Woodall laughs about a recent walk with his family. “Last weekend I ran up three long flights of stairs at Northgate right in front of my wife and daughter. They were blown away!” 


“Project Access has made it easier to care for patients like George. By coordinating the appointments and hospital care ahead of time, the administrative challenges of volunteering are eliminated.”

—Gregory Grabowski, DPM

“You become a doctor to help people and improve their quality of life, if possible,” says Dr. Grabowski. “Project Access has made it easier to care for patients like George. By coordinating the appointments and hospital care ahead of time, the administrative challenges of volunteering are eliminated.”

Woodall’s wife has recently completed her teaching certificate and is now teaching in the Seattle School District. The whole family now has health insurance.

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