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Walking away from pain

Parker Adventist partners with nonprofit for free surgeries

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Parker Adventist Hospital recently partnered with Operation Walk USA to give patients a chance to step into 2017 free from incapacitating pain.

Between Dec. 5 and Dec. 10, three patients at Parker Adventist and two patients at Porter Adventist Hospital in Denver received free hip and knee replacement surgeries. Across the United States, an estimated 80 people received the transplants through the program this year.

“Our mission is to improve the quality of life for the people within our community,” said Derek Johnson, a Parker Adventist Hospital orthopedic medical director and surgeon. “OpWalk is a collaborate initiative that provides hope and a pain-free life to underserved patients.”

The nonprofit Operation Walk USA has been offering the free surgeries with volunteer surgeons and medical providers since 2010. The program covers all aspects of treatment ─ surgery, hospitalization and pre-and post-operative care ─ at no cost to patients who don't qualify for government health coverage, don't have insurance or can't afford surgery on their own.

“The debilitating pain of end-stage hip or knee degenerative disease makes even the most simple of daily tasks excruciatingly painful,” Operation Walk's website states. “Although more than 1 million hip and knee replacements are performed in the United States each year, thousands of uninsured or underinsured men and women continue to live with severe arthritic pain and immobility.”

Nearly 650 patients have received transplants from the group through the annual program since 2010. Total value of the services adds up to more than $17.3 million.

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