New Knees to Ease Into Retirement
Service is a big part of life for José Ramón Perez. He has long worked for the Archbishop Emeritus of the Archdiocese of Havana, a Cardinal of the Catholic Church. As the Archbishop’s accountant he has a lot of responsibility, and says he works and reads a lot. Jose also has a big responsibility for his family, which includes his wife, son and young granddaughter. They all live together in one house in Havana.
Juan had dealt with excruciating pain when walking for many years that often kept him from working, and unable to help provide for his family. Being unable to walk without difficulty has meant being unable to walk around his beloved Havana. Like many other Cubans, Juan simply had no access to the specialty surgery needed to heal his pain and help him walk again, or a way to travel out of the country to get help.
Juan had both knees replaced during Operation Walk Carolina’s inaugural trip to Cuba and was up and walking on the second day with his walker. He’s in his 70s but says he plans to serve his Archbishop for a few more years before he retires. When asked why he works so much, Juan raises his eyebrows with a big grin and says “Well, I’m devoted. And, I just like to work!”