Operation Walk and Dr. Hanna got Lisa back to her family

To Lisa Callahan, being a valuable, dependable member of her family is everything.  When her mobility was limited by osteoarthritis pain in her hips, she felt like she had lost everything.  Now, thanks to Resurgens Orthopaedics and Operation Walk, she’s back to taking care of her grandkids again and that means the world to her.

Lisa’s Reach for More Story starts in April of 2016, when she woke up one morning with severe hip pain that left her unable to walk without the aid of a cane or walker.  Although she struggled with intermittent back and knee pain in the past, she never experienced anything that limited her mobility to the same degree.  Knowing something was seriously wrong, she went to the emergency room where CAT scans revealed two severely deteriorated hip joints.

“They told me then that I would have to have a hip replacement, and that my left hip was worse than my right, but my right one would need to be replaced also,” says Lisa.

With her quality of life greatly diminished, Lisa knew that getting these operations was an absolute necessity; the only thing she wasn’t certain of was how she would pay for them.  At age 58, she was too young to be covered by Social Security disability benefits yet she was unable to work due to her severe hip pain.  As a result, she couldn’t afford health insurance.  Lisa had no idea where to turn.  Luckily, her eldest daughter turned out to be her guardian angel.

“She went on the internet… and in July or August [of 2016] she found Operation Walk,” Lisa recalls.  Although she wasn’t familiar with the program initially, it turned out to be a lifesaver for her.

Operation Walk is a non-profit organization that matches patients in need of life-changing joint replacement surgeries with surgeons in their area who donate their services at no cost to the patient.  Since its inception in 2010, Operation Walk has provided nearly $19 million in pro-bono medical care services, helping more than 700 patients get back on their feet.  Dr. Mark W. Hanna of Resurgens Orthopaedics is one of the hundreds of surgeons who have donated their time and expertise to Operation Walk, and he was the one who stepped up to offer his services to Lisa in her time of need.

Lisa says she was elated when she found out she qualified for the program and would be getting both hips replaced free of charge through Operation Walk.  “I thought, [they’re] going to save my life because the pain was incredible… I couldn’t walk.  I thought, “How am I going to pay for this?” and they said, “You’re not.” They offered me hope.”

Lisa’s first hip replacement was scheduled just 30 days after her first consultation with Dr. Hanna.  During that month, Operation Walk took care of all the testing and preliminary appointments that were required for her to be medically cleared for surgery.  With that burden off her shoulders, she was ready for her first operation, although she admits to being a bit nervous.  The procedure itself went perfectly, and Lisa was up and walking the very same day. 

“They replaced my hip and my daughter drove me home.  I didn’t stay in the hospital; it was amazing.”

“They replaced my hip and my daughter drove me home. I didn’t stay in the hospital; it was amazing.”

Lisa was so impressed by Dr. Hanna’s skill in using minimally invasive techniques to minimize the pain, she immediately felt better upon waking up.  The process went so well and so quickly, she even likes to joke about her “drive-through hip replacement.” While Lisa has a sense of humor about the whole experience, she adds that she felt supported by the Resurgens Team and Operation Walk from start to finish.

“They’re so patient centered; it’s all about your comfort…  It’s all about what they can do to help… They never made me feel like I wasn’t paying.  They treated me like they did everybody else, and it was consistent throughout,” says Lisa.

Almost exactly one year after her first hip replacement, Lisa went in for her second and it went just as smoothly as the first.  Now that she’s able to walk with no pain, she’s thrilled to be taking care of her two grandsons again.  Lisa’s daughter and son-in-law were so supportive of her when she was suffering with limited mobility, now she’s so happy to be able to give something back to them by watching the kids during the week.

“My place in their life is very important… It means the world to me.”

Now that she’s fully recovered, hip pain is the last thing on Lisa’s mind. “My hips are no longer a problem for me; I don’t even think about it,” she says proudly.

Resurgens Orthopaedics and Dr. Hanna are proud as well to be involved with Operation Walk.  Dr. Hanna states: “As orthopaedic surgeons, we are truly blessed to be able to restore a patient’s ability to walk and take away their pain.  Providing joint replacement to deserving patients regardless of their ability to pay is extra special.  I, along with my fellow Resurgens colleagues, Dr. Peretz and Dr. Dopson, are all honored to have the opportunity to participate in Operation Walk this year."

For hundreds of patients across the country without the financial means to afford life-altering joint surgeries, the free medical care provided by Operation Walk and its network of skilled surgeons is a ray of hope during difficult times.  The Resurgens Surgery Center is one of two centers in the state of Georgia participating in the program this year. 

From all of us at Resurgens Orthopaedics, we wish Lisa all the best in the future; keep reaching for more in everything you do!

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