International travel can be taxing. Pack all your stuff, get it to the airport, get through security, get on the plane. Fly. Get off the plane, get through customs, find your bags. Then, ground travel to your destination. All with a not-insignificant dose of discomfort and sleep-deprivation.
But the stress of travel can be offset by enthusiasm, by the excitement of arriving at a new destination, and experiencing a different culture.
Both of these aspects are magnified in the context of Operation Walk. Months of planning have resulted in today’s arrival of the 44 members of our Operation Walk team in Koforidua, Ghana. In addition to our team members and all their stuff, we arrive with enough gear and medical equipment to replace as many hips and knees as possible, over the next week.
Our group consists of nurses, surgical techs, equipment reps, anesthesia providers, physical therapists, logistics people, and seven surgeons.
Tomorrow is Screening Day, when we will examine and screen about 200 potential hip and knee candidates. Then, over the ensuing four days, we will work as a team to do as many cases as we can, before breaking it all down and heading home late next week.
This is our third trip to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Koforidua, and our relative familiarity with the locale and the hospital will lend itself to efficiency, an efficiency we hope will allow us to do as many surgeries as possible.
Tonight we are settling in at our local accommodations (“Early bedtime! Everybody’s tired.”) and preparing for the busy days ahead.
We at Operation Walk New York are grateful for your attention. Thank you for your support! More to follow.