By April Weston, MHA
Hampton Roads Orthopaedics Spine & Sports Medicine
Director of Marketing & Public Relations
Did you know that an estimated five billion people lack access to surgery? One World Surgery is a nonprofit organization dedicated to confronting this healthcare crisis by partnering with surgeons from around the world to deliver high quality surgical care to those in need. “It has always been my desire to volunteer my time and resources to support medical missions and after hearing about the mission and vision of One World Surgery, I knew this was the place for me,” stated Dr. Carter.
Dr. Carter joined the 2019 Total Joint Replacement Mission to Honduras which was comprised of two other orthopedic surgeons, Drs. Hickman and Evanich, surgical assistants, nurses, anesthesiologists, hip and knee implant representatives, a physical therapist, and more. Upon arrival in Honduras, the team traveled to the Surgery Center with medical supplies and equipment including the implants that would be used during surgery.
One World Surgery has equipped a modern facility called the Holy Family Surgery Center where all the operations take place. Dr. Carter and his team were responsible for every aspect of the case; from wheeling the surgical table into the room, to prepping the patients, and discharging them from the facility. Over the course of the week, Drs. Carter, Hickman, and Evanich performed a total of 55 joint replacements of which Dr. Carter performed 18.
|Dr. Carter with patient prior to surgery|
Among the cases performed, one in particular stood out to Dr. Carter. “A 31-year-old patient who rammed his car into an 18 wheeler roughly 18 months ago had screws and plates put in his hip to fix the damage,” recalls Dr. Carter. “Unfortunately, this left him with a severe leg length discrepancy and post traumatic arthritis; his left leg was 1 ½ inches shorter than his right. With the support of the team, we were able to fix this problem and he walked out of the hospital with equal leg lengths 2 ½ hours after surgery.”
“This was a very humbling experience. In our country, we can quickly take the resources we have for granted. The patients we worked with were so grateful for every little thing and their prayers were centered on thankfulness,” recalls Dr. Carter. He went onto share that, “Prior to one of the cases, I sat down to meet with the patient and her family to review the procedure. As I was wrapping up, the patient took my hand and with tears in her eyes, she told me that she waited by the phone everyday for a year to receive a phone call that she could have her hip replacement surgery. She was overjoyed and grateful that our team had come to help patient’s like herself,” stated Dr. Carter. “It was a life changing experience and one that I will never forget!”
If you would like to learn more about this trip with the medical missions team or how you can support One World Surgery, please contact our office or visit www.oneworldsurgery.org.