‘Miracle’ joint replacements provided free for three patients

Dr. Patrick Kirk and patient Mary Garrett.

Dr. Patrick Kirk and patient Mary Garrett.

Mary Garrett walked out of The Christ Hospital Joint & Spine Center with a brand new hip in December, and she didn’t have to pay a penny.

Orthopedic surgeons at The Christ Hospital Health Network provided free hip and knee replacements to three low-income patients without medical insurance in early December as part of Operation Walk USA.

Dr. Patrick Kirk, Dr. Edward V. A. Lim and Dr. Michael Swank performed the surgeries at The Christ Hospital Joint & Spine Center.

Garrett, 57, suffered osteoarthritis in her left hip. She didn’t have the funds or insurance to pay for a hip replacement and found the Operation Walk program through an Internet search.

“There are so many things I haven’t been able to do, so I’m really grateful for this opportunity,” Garrett said. “I feel like it’s a miracle for me.”

Operation Walk USA is an independent organization that arranges donations from vendors to cover the cost of knee and hip replacement surgery and post-operative care.

In addition to the surgeons, a number of specialists and staff from across the hospital network volunteered their time to assist with the surgery and post-operative care of the three patients.

Several community partners also donated resources, including BioScrip Infusion Partners, Kempf Surgical Appliances Inc., Halyard Health, TCH Home Care and Kroger Pharmacy. Au Bon Pain provided breakfast to the patients’ families.

Operation Walk USA works with national joint implant vendors, including DePuy Synthes Companies and Zimmer Biomet, who donated the implants for the procedures. The national average of a non-complicated knee or hip surgery is about $30,000 per patient.

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