Two billion people across the globe have no access to medical care. The poorest people of the world account for 35% of the world’s population, yet only 3.5% percent of all major surgeries take place in those locations.
Operation Walk Carolinas, recently launched in Charlotte by OrthoCarolina, Carolinas Healthcare and Novant Health, will head to Cuba on an important mission in January 2017. Over just a few days, they will perform upwards of 50 joint replacements on patients with arthritis and other debilitating conditions. Many of these people have no other way to access or fund a costly hip or knee replacement that can change their lives. In developing countries, there are few trained surgeons and health care providers for these types of operations, nor the implants and other medical devices and supplies required. These much-needed surgeries will allow patients to be free of a pain of life and disability, to have a richer quality of life and in many cases go back to work and help provide for their families.
While they are in Cuba part of their work will involve educating in-country physicians and surgeons so that they can continue to practice and teach others higher levels of surgical work and patient care. This framework is critical so that they can continue to teach future generations of medical providers.
Jacinto was a patient some of the OpWalk Carolinas team met in April 2015 when they traveled to Panama with Operation Walk Denver. He had crippling arthritis in both hips, had not been able to work or even to sit upright in 20 years. Jacinto received two new hip replacements, and was sitting in a chair the day after surgery for the first time in two decades. He has since gone back to work to help take care of his family. You can see his photo here just after surgery.
OpWalk Carolinas intends to grow as part of the greater Carolinas’ medical community, with many missions ahead to come. As they prepare for this inaugural mission to Cuba, we have a great deal of work to do and funds to raise. A single trip for a team of 20 or more can cost $150,000.
As they work towards their January mission OpWalk is raising funds that will help save the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable people. They also need silent auction items for fundraisers (gift cards, vacation homes, services, etc.). All donations are tax deductible at face value.
$5,000 Supplies critical medical equipment for the Operation Walk Team
$2,500 Fully supports one joint replacement for a patient
$1,000 Fully supports travel for a volunteer medical team member
$500 Covers the cost of Physical Therapy for five patients
$250 Covers all diagnostic tests (X rays, etc.) for a patient having surgery
$100 Covers one night in the hospital
$50 Provides a walker for a patient after joint replacement
$25 Covers transportation for the patient to and from the hospital
You can also consider donating gently used equipment (walker or cane) to Operation Walk Carolinas. (email: Jamey.email@example.com)
You can also help the Operation Walk Carolinas team by attending Operation Walk…on the Water!
This fundraiser on Lake Norman May 22 from 5-8PM through Charters for Charity will help raise funds to send the team to Cuba next January. The event will include a silent auction, food, and a spectacular evening cruising the lake. Tickets are $100 and all funds go toward the cause. Even if you cannot attend you can also donate securely at https://www.youcaring.com/opwalkcarolinas.
More about the event: