Final Words – Day 4 in Cuba

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The three of us are in continual discussions about the project.

The situation dictates getting not only the implantable device here, which is the easy part. Much more difficult is the logistics in transporting the special equipment needed for the procedure and making certain needed medications are here for pre-op and post-op care. And our surgeon, Dr Ian Kovach, plans to bring his OR crew consisting if 4-5 nurses and/or scrub techs.Dr. Copeland

Otico’s hip problem relates to his underlying sickle cell disease and has progressed to the point where he is nearly confined to bed. The X-rays that we saw at the hospital were almost a year old. I requested a new X-ray to be used to determine the size of the implant.  After reviewing the new set of films we could see that his condition had progressed significantly, and that replacement (even considering all the risks) would be the best course of action for him.

The team of Cuban physicians taking care of Otico are absolutely outstanding. I think we can learn a lot from them about coordinated team care and the importance of primary care. What they don’t have however, is the experience and technology to tackle hip replacement in young adults with sickle cell.  That’s a very difficult problem even with the benefit of our technology and the frequency with which we do hip replacements in the states.

Assuming there aren’t any major obstacles we’re planning to return to Cuba and work together with Otico’s doctors here to replace his hip in the first week of November.Dr. Kovach

It’s been an absolute pleasure to be here with Dr. Copeland and Dr. Kovach. I can’t say it enough, their spirit of servanthood is astounding. I’m reminded constantly how amazing this opportunity is for One Heart – Many Hands. Being allowed to partner with the Cuban people and affect so many lives is an honor. As Dr. Copeland says, “There is so much work to be done once we’re back in the states.”

That’s where we need your help. We need the support from a lot of different hands to make this surgery happen. In the coming weeks, we are going to have several opportunities to get involved.

Pray about what you might be able to do.



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