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East Cooper Team Performs 30 Free Surgeries During Mission Trip

Mar 1, 2016

Mission Headed by Dr. H. Del Schutte, Executive Medical Director of Walk Nicaragua

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. – February 29, 2016 – Several members of the East Cooper Medical Center team just returned from Nicaragua where they performed 30 free orthopedic surgeries through the non-profit organization, Walk Nicaragua. The private, not-for-profit, volunteer medical services organization provides free Total Joint orthopedic surgical services for patients in developing countries. Medical treatment is offered to those that have no access to life-improving care for arthritis or other debilitating bone and joint conditions.

“The journey changes us all as we experience what it takes to restore mobility to those with profound disability. These amazing patients live in terrible conditions in severe pain and disability. They are grateful beyond words to have access to this life changing surgery,” says Dr. Del Schutte, Executive Medical Director of Walk Nicaragua. “We have all been affected by the intangible rewards of this experience as it reminds us of our many blessings. I feel fortunate to have been a part of this mission trip and I’m grateful to my team for volunteering their time to this experience with Walk Nicaragua.”

Ten people from East Cooper Medical Center traveled to Nicaragua for a week to be a part of this volunteer medical team. The team packed and transported 21 tote bins filled with the surgical implants that were donated, instruments and everything else that would make the surgeries a success. The week was filled with complex cases. Some patients exhibited profound disability and knee deformities. The team performed their first bilateral (two sided) knee replacement. Many of these patients have been suffering with joint pain for years and are confined to wheelchairs. The medical treatment offered during this mission trip has allowed many of these patients to return to a normal, productive life.

This was the East Cooper team’s second mission trip with Walk Nicaragua. Between the two trips, they have completed 55 surgeries. The group is already making plans for the next mission trip in 2017. The East Cooper team consisted of Dr. Del Schutte, MD, Linda Schutte, RN, Sarah Voges, FNP, Dr. Charles Weinheimer, MD, Katie Siegman, certified surgical tech OR, Elizabeth Lierley, RN OR, Amy King, APRN, Rachel Wood, RN, Hollis Barbaro, PT and Kathryn Thomasson.

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

Walk Nicaraqua group shot    Walk Nicaraqua patient 3    Walk Nicaraqua patient 2    Walk Nicaraqua surgery 2



East Cooper Medical Center

East Cooper Medical Center, part of Tenet Healthcare, is a 130-bed acute care hospital located at 2000 Hospital Drive in Mount Pleasant. East Cooper Medical Center has been providing healthcare to the East Cooper community since 1986. We provide a number of services including 24-hour emergency care, women’s and children’s services, diagnostic imaging and interventional services, orthopedics, sports medicine, pain care, adult and pediatric rehabilitation services, wound care services and surgical care, including nationally recognized spine surgery and breast reconstruction surgery. East Cooper Medical Center is accredited by The Joint Commission, the nation’s oldest and largest hospital accreditation agency.

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