It is a gift just in time for Christmas that is life changing for two people here in the east. They had important surgeries for free that they couldn't afford on their own.
Operation Walk USA is an independent charitable organization that coordinated the effort with Carteret General Hospital and patients Sheila Emanuel and Keith Myers.
Emanuel is recovering from knee replacement surgery and says she is grateful.
Myers had a hip replaced and says, "I can be active again, do a lot of things I want to do, ride a bike, surf. I like to hunt and fish. It's a total new life.
While these operations typically cost tens of thousands of dollars, these two patients had the surgeries for free.
Myers says, It's like winning the lottery, but I don't think that really even says it. I feel very honored to be chosen.
Carteret General Hospital Dr. Robert Coles says, "To be able to give back to this community in this way and help people is very meaningful and it's part of our mission here.."
Carteret General Hospital provided the hospitalization, and the rest of the team helped with pre-op, post-op and physical therapy, all for free.
Operation Walk USA helped choose Myers and Emanuel, who had no health insurance, couldn't afford the surgery out of pocket, and truly needed the operation.
Myers says, "My wife wrote a letter depicting the pain I've been in the last five years and it's progressively gotten worse. I guess they just took pity on me, but I certainly appreciate it. It's been phenomenal."
Both the patients should be back home in the next day or two, and back in time for the holidays.
Operation Walk USA is in its third year. This year, 70 hospitals in 30 states are participating in free joint replacements.
You can click the related link to learn more about Operation Walk USA.