Trek2Share Blog

We saw the patients yesterday and explained the procedure to them. Our equipment has arrived and we will be unloading it today. But not until we eat Ponchiks- the fluffy custard filled pastry from heaven, and climb the  Kaskad stairs. Stay tuned!

Good morning!

Good morning from Yerevan!

We saw the patients yesterday and explained the procedure to them. Our equipment has arrived and we will be unloading it today. But not until we eat Ponchiks- the fluffy custard filled pastry from heaven, and climb the  Kaskad stairs. Stay tuned!

We are in Moscow

So far had a very good flight - waiting to board. Hope our bags with equipment make it safely :)

Yerevan Armenia April 2015 - our team is ready for the trip. Please check back for updates on our trip.

Happy Easter

Happy Easter everyone!

ITS ALMOST THERE!

Moscow, Russian Federation08/23/20129:42 A.M.Arrival ScanKoeln, Germany08/23/20124:34 A.M.Departure ScanKoeln, Germany08/22/20129:06 P.M.Arrival ScanPhiladelphia, PA, United States08/22/20128:37 A.M.Departure Scan08/22/20126:52 A.M.Arrival ScanLouisville, KY, United States08/22/20125:02 A.M.Departure Scan08/22/20123:03 A.M.Export Scan08/22/20122:08 A.M.Arrival ScanSan Diego, CA, United States08/21/20127:23 P.M.Departure Scan08/21/20126:57 P.M.Arrival Scan08/21/20126:41 P.M.Departure ScanUnited States08/21/201212:05 A.M.Order Processed: Ready for UPS

What does it take to go to a country and do 30 joint replacements, do you just show up and operate?

I was asked yesterday at a party "what does it take to go to a country and do 30 joint replacements, do you just show up and operate?" here is the story I told them.

We started the process a year ago. We applied for a grant to get implant costs covered from several manufacturers. When one of the manufacturers, Stryker, came through they went above and beyond by offering to cover 30 patient surgeries!  To give you an idea, this meant sending implants, which are at least one size above and one size below of what we may use, in case measurement on radiographs was not precise. Just the human commitment to packing and shipping this was astronomical; it would weigh over 1000 lb. I can't thank enough everyone who is making this happen as we speak, and hope to post their pictures soon.

Next came securing top doctor's who would volunteer their time and were both good surgeons and good educators. We wanted to be able not only to offer surgeries, but more importantly could teach the hosting surgeons and their residents the proper modern techniques, so they can continue with this work.  We were surprised and grateful to get more offers from surgeons than we could take with us. We selected the most skillful and dynamic surgeons from various institutions to also allow for a local information exchange, and to build bridges among San Diego orthopedic surgeons, fostering inter-institutional collaboration. You can read more about them one the website under participants page.

We then looked into several hosting institution, finally picking the National Center for Orthopedic and Trauma Care in Armenia, because of it's involvement in teaching the Orthopaedic residents and research, and because of their catchment population, which has a large component of rural and underprivileged patients.

Dr. Aivazyan and team were eager to learn how we select severe incapacitating hip arthritis patients, and examined hundreds of patients to select 50.  We then standardized their x-ray machines on how they take their radiographs, so that we can measure the implant sizes. The radiographs were send to us and we then checked again to identify surgically appropriate patients and selected 30 of these for our final list. We measured their limbs to take appropriate size implants with us. This list was then passed on to Stacy, our company representative, who now had to order every last screw to have the patient surgeries covered.

In the mean time we mapped out every detail on the order of patient admissions and their pre-surgical care.

As we speak we are also ironing out every last detail with the Armenia Ministry of Health and Ministry of Foreign Affairs to get the shipments cleared for use and customs. So many letters have been written and I thank everyone who helped!

We will post every detail as countdown begins. We need your help! We still need to offset the costs and help buy walkers, medications and some additional surgical supplies. Please donate and help us make this first joint replacement mission to Armenia a success. Press the little orange donate button and help our patients walk! It will warm up your heart when you see the eyes of those who you gave this gift of their life back. Pictures are coming soon. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping.