Regional News from WTAJ
ALTOONA - Here in the United States, you don't have to travel far to find a skilled surgeon to replace a severely damaged hip joint. But that wasn't the case for an Ecuadorian man, badly injured years ago in motorcycle accident.
Fortunately a good friend in our region, was willing to go more than the average mile for him, and she brought an area surgeon along with her.
On Friday morning, a medical team prepped Mauricio Benitez for a hip replacement at the Advanced Center for Surgery in Altoona. To his side, his 84-year-old mother Beatriz who came with him from Ecuador, and their good friend Sarah Braxton from Huntingdon.
They developed a close relationship a few years ago, when Sarah stayed with the family while studying to teach English as a second language. "It was immediate," Sarah says, "She was my mother and my sister altogether and Mauricio was a brother ."
That close connection prompted Sarah to try to seek a solution for Mauricio's chronic hip pain.After calling all over Pennsylvania requesting help, Sarah found it close to home from Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Chris McClellan. "I love doing this. There's nothing better than helping someone who's in misery," Dr. McClellan says. It didn't hurt that Sarah's husband teaches at his alma mater, Juniata College.
Dr McClellan, who's with University Orthopedics, is one of the pioneers of Same Day Joint Replacement Surgery, a procedure he's doing free, for Mauricio. The surgery center is also offering its services.
According to Dr. McClellan, the Ecuadorian man is a perfect candidate for same-day joint surgery. He's only 42, is in good shape, and will have someone at home, Sarah's home, to oversee his recovery, a 4 to 6 week process. Once Dr. McClellan opened up Mauricio's hip, he discovered it was worse than he thought---very stiff with bone spurs that have been growing for a long time. That takes a little longer to get everything to fit just right, but with a few adjustments the new hip joint was installed and in just an hour or so Mauricio was taking a few steps. That's the hallmark of the same day surgery. Dr. McClellan says Mauricio will be surprised how much his hip will actually move within the next week or two.
Mauricio doesn't speak much English but he did say, "thank you, thank you." He and his mother will stay with Sarah, while he recovers, until the first week of December.
Dr. McClellan started performing same day joint surgery last fall at the Advanced Center for Surgery. Since then, he's done 140 procedures, the most of any facility in the state. .
Airports and hospitals are learning some hard lessons from the handful of Ebola cases diagnosed and treated in the U.S. Customs and border protection officers are now armed with thermometers at Dulles International Airport, JFK in New York, Chicago's O-Hare, Atlanta, and Newark. It's part of enhanced screening for travelers from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
Passengers arriving from West Africa get interviewed - and a Care Kit to track and monitor themselves. Anyone with symptoms at the airport is quarantined and then, they're kept away form the general population, once they get to a hospital.
One Virginia hospital spent $650,000 to add extra walls, a decontamination area, and a lab in its trauma area. There are no direct flights to the 3 West African countries in the hot zone. The CDC estimates about 150 people arrive in the U.S. from there each day.
EEO Recruitment Source
Copyright © 2014 Renda. All Rights Reserved.
Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved.