Sunday, March 27, 2011

Operation Walk Syracuse

The pain and mobility limitations of arthritis can not only be severely disabling, but life altering.  Imagine living in a place where there are not enough skilled medical professionals to help you, or that the cost of treatment is too high.  Sadly, millions of people around the world live without the hope of getting better.  The orthopedic resources so commonly available in the United States unfortunately are unavailable in much of the world.
For these very reasons, we have created Operation Walk Syracuse and are eager to introduce you to the wonderful work we plan to do.  Our organization will provide free hip and knee replacement surgeries to underserved populations around the world.  We are excited to embark on our first journey to Nepal in November, 2011.  We plan to perform joint replacement procedures on more than 75 patients during our week long trip.
Compelling patient stories emphasize the need for our services:
He slowly made his way across the dirt floor to the window, taking care not to lose his footing.   A fall with a resulting broken hip would most certainly mean death for him.  After all, the nearest hospital was more than an hour away from his small village.  Transportation there for those in good health was a lengthy trek; for those with restricted or no mobility, an impossibility.  As he peered out the window of his thatched roof hut with straw walls, he wondered if they had forgotten him.  Anxiety began to mount as he realized how very dependent (life and death dependent) he was on those in the village who came to his aid.  Unable to shuffle more than a few steps due to his painfully disabling arthritis, he relied on the good will of others to bring him his daily meal and fresh water.  It was degrading to him to have to have others tend to his bodily needs (food, water, hygiene, and toileting) but for lack of choice, he accepted it.   It was well past the usual arrival time and he worried that someday they may forget him and there he would be; hungry, thirsty, in pain, and most importantly, alone.  He spied the child carrying the basket just turning onto the bamboo path outside his house.  He breathed a sigh of relief.  It would be okay, at least for today.

Imagine living a life like this.  Alone and isolated simply because access to this life-altering surgery is not available to you.  Something that we take for granted here in the United States because it is so common and nearly available to everyone, is a luxury restricted to very few or even none in other parts of the world.  There are countless individuals awaiting our arrival in Nepal in November of this year (2011).  The medical volunteers of Operation Walk Syracuse will travel to the other side of the world to perform joint replacement surgery on more than 75 patients.  The stories will be heart-breaking and heart-warming as well as humbling, but with no possibility of joint replacement surgery for these people, we will bring hope, inspiration, and the opportunity to dramatically change the lives of the people.
Our patients are poor individuals who have no access to specialized orthopedic care and would otherwise have to suffer and live in pain.  We have performed more than 15,000 joint replacement procedures on patients in the United States and want to serve the larger world as well.  Our goal is simple:  to make these people better, more mobile, and free from pain so they can return to their families and society, earning a living and caring for those who depend upon them.
Operation Walk Syracuse is an all-volunteer medical organization.  We will take an entire team of surgeons, medical doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, physical therapists, and others who provide the same state of the art services that our patients receive here at home.  All the implants, medical supplies and services are provided at no cost to these needy individuals.
Thousands of people throughout the world who could not walk without pain have returned to productive and active lives as the result of the charitable work performed by other Operation Walk Mission Teams and the generosity of their supporters.  We are eager to join in these very worthy efforts. Our goal is simple, to “restore hope through motion…one joint at a time.”
We are also excited about a local effort that will launch before the end of the year.  Operation Walk Syracuse will also participating in a program that will bring hip and knee replacement to patients here in Syracuse who would otherwise not be able to have this surgery. 
You can visit to learn more about our organization. 

Brett B. Greenky MD               Seth S. Greenky, MD                Kimberley Murray, RN
Co-Executive Director              Co-Executive Director                Clinical Director
Operation Walk Syracuse        Operation Walk Syracuse          Operation Walk Syracuse


“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”  - Winston Churchill

Operation Walk Syracuse

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