Caridad is a 24 y/o woman who came to us in the Fall of 2012 for evaluation of her knees. She was unable to stand or walk at that time due to severe contractures and weakness of her knees from an unknown form of crippling arthritis which had left her in a wheelchair and unable to care for herself, her husband or her little son. She had had both hips replaced at another hospital elsewhere in Mexico but even with them fixed she was still unable to walk or even stand.
Caridad’s child was sent to the Dominican Republic to live with his grandmother because of her inability to care for him. Her husband had been tasked with carrying her from room to room, helping her bathe, toilet and dress. Her shoulders were also severely limited with arthritis so even feeding herself was impossible. Caridad received the first bilateral total knee replacements ever done in Mexico in October 2012, performed by Dr. Christie and the Walk Strong team at the Regional Hospital in Veracruz.
Since she had not stood or walked in well over a year, her progress initially was slow with just acclimating to being able to stand with the assistance of a walker, but by the time she left the hospital to return to her home in Mexico City, she was walking around the halls with the use of a rolling walker.
Her husband hired a home physical therapist to help strengthen her when they returned home and in April of 2013 at her post operative clinic visit, she walked into clinic without a limp and stood tall and straight and beautiful! Holding her hand was her little son who was now able to return to her and her husband’s lives!
Arturo Conseco Garcia
Arturo Conseco Garcia, 82 years old, walked into the first Walk Strong pre-operative screening clinic in 2011 with some of the most disfigured bowlegs the Walk Strong team had ever seen. His upper legs looked like they would fall off and break at any moment but he walked in with his cane and his daughter asking for help to get his life back.
He was retired as a farmer as he could no longer perform any farming activities due to the severe pain his legs gave him. He was dependent on the care from his daughter and being a very proud man was not happy in this role. He underwent his first knee replacement in October 2011 and the second in May of 2012.
When he returned for his postoperative evaluation in October 2012 he was able to demonstrate squats and had wonderfully straight and pain free knees. He was no longer dependent on his daughter and was able to do some general caretaking and contribute to his household.
Albina Lara Ramirez
Albina Lara Ramirez is an 82 year old woman who came to the Walk Strong Clinic at the Regional Hospital in Veracruz in February of 2012 for evaluation of her arthritic knees. She had always been a street vendor pushing a tamale cart and was now no longer able to provide for herself in that manner as she could not walk any distance due to severe arthritis in her knees.
She had also always danced in the yearly Mardi Gras parades and was very proud of her dancing abilities but she could no longer dance either. She received total knee replacements of both knees over the consecutive course of two Walk Strong missions.
In April of 2013, she returned for her post operative evaluation wearing heels and was able to perform a demonstration of the salsa in our clinic, whirling and twirling and very pain free. She was also back with her tamale cart supporting herself again!