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East Cooper employees offer free surgeries during Nicaragua trip

May 24, 2016

Walk Nicaragua GroupThe “great chance to give back” is why a team from East Cooper Medical Center performed 30 free orthopedic surgeries during a mission trip to Nicaragua last month.

Known as “Walk Nicaragua,” the group provided patients with free total joint orthopedic surgical services. The patients don’t have access to life-improving care for debilitating bone and joint conditions, the hospital said.

“It’s the second poorest country in Central America and they’re so welcoming and understanding. They’re very appreciative of what we do,” said Dr. Del Schutte, the executive medical director of Walk Nicaragua.

The trip included 10 people from East Cooper Medical Center who brought surgical implants, medical instruments and other supplies to perform their work.

Over the course of a week, Schutte said the team was met a wide range of cases, including some patients who faced significant disabilities and knee deformities. Some were even confined to wheelchairs and have suffered for years with severe joint pain, he said.

“The journey changes us all as we experience what it takes to restore mobility to those with profound disability,” Schutte said.

February’s trip served as Walk Nicaragua’s second mission trip to the country. A total of 55 surgeries were performed on Nicaraguans during the trips, according to East Cooper. The hospital added that it is already gearing up for its 2017 trip.

“It’s amazing what our team has been able to accomplish for people in such dire need,” said Sarah Voges, the program director for Walk Nicaragua. “This mission project is so close to our hearts and I want to recognize everyone for taking time out of their busy lives and work schedules to travel with us to Nicaragua.”

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