JHC surgical team’s Australian-first
Nov 16, 2016
For the first time an Australian team has joined with world-renowned Operation Walk for an invaluable humanitarian trip to the central American country Honduras, providing free surgical treatment for patients in the developing nation.
Operation Walk is a private, not-for-profit volunteer medical services organisation and the surgical team with personnel from California, Pennsylvania, Florida and Australia delivered 46 lower limb joint replacements for 33 patients in just seven days in October.
The Operation Walk team also provided education while at Bandana Hospital in San Pedro Sula for orthopaedic surgeons, nurses, physical therapists and other healthcare professionals on the most advanced treatments and surgical techniques for diseases of the hip and knee joints.
Joondalup Health Campus (JHC) staff who helped to deliver the life-changing surgeries included orthopaedic surgeon Arash Taheri; scrub nurses Marion Graeber and Perina Mohlmann; anaesthetist Jesco Kompardt and former JHC orthopaedic trainee Taro Tokamoto.
According to Arash the team felt great camaraderie with their colleagues from the USA straight away; all intent on delivering a month’s worth of work in the seven day period.
“The operations are life-changing for the people here and it was an amazing feeling to be able to play a part in making their lives more comfortable and productive,” said Arash.
“We hope that conducting the local surgeries along with supporting the Honduras hospital staff with education will help create a lasting contribution to patient care in this developing country.”
Arash connected with the international organisation through his fellowship links with Operation Walk founder Larry Dorr, a pioneer and leader in joint replacement surgery in the USA.
In 20 years, Operation Walk teams have made 100 trips to 20 countries to provide surgery for more than 10,000 people.