The Ecuador Team related the following stories from their 2013 orthopaedic surgery mission trip:
A 61 year-old Quechua woman needed to be carried and lifted onto the hospital bed by her daughter. She had not walked for two years. The day after her hip replacement, she was up and walking with crutches.
The future did not look promising for one 26 year old woman with severe arthritis in her hip. In Ecuador, the prospect for a job, or marriage, for a woman with such a hip problem is highly limited. Now, with a hip replacement, she can live a normal life with pain-free mobility.
And none of us will ever forget the 82 year-old woman who, although she was told she was not a candidate for surgery (because we needed to focus on younger patients and primary wage earners) came with her family to the hospital every morning and went to church every evening to pray. Towards the end of the mission trip, a pre-operative patient was sent home due to low hemoglobin. Dr. Avila had the incorrect phone number for the next standby patient. After the 82 year-old was phoned, she was at the hospital in 10 minutes! She was one of the last patients to receive a hip replacement. Her adult children were moved to tears.