David Chalker, 50, had to stop working as a machinist because he couldn’t get around and stand on his feet all day with two arthritic hips. But with the help of Franklin Hospital staff and Operation Walk USA, Mr. Chalker is on the mend and looking forward to getting back to work after receiving two free hip replacements in December.
“My main focus is to get back to work,” Mr. Chalker said. “I’m 50 and I have a lot of work ahead of me. I’m excited to finally be out of pain. I’ve been in pain for a long time.”
Mr. Chalker’s surgery, pre-surgical and post-surgical care was provided free of charge through Operation Walk USA. His surgery was performed by Matthew Hepinstall, MD, orthopedic surgeon at Franklin Hospital.
“It’s really a privilege to participate in this program,” Dr. Hepinstall said. “The most rewarding part of my job is seeing people who are suffering have an improvement in the quality of their life and get back to the things they enjoy doing and need to do. When somebody has been suffering for a long time and hasn’t had access to the care that’s been routine for me, it’s really a blessing for me to be part of giving that care.”
Mr. Chalker, an Army veteran, also received care from the following providers: Franklin Hospital, North American Partners in Anesthesia, Orzac Center for Rehabilitation, North Shore-LIJ Home Care Network, and Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation Services (STARS).
Since Operation Walk USA started in 2010, it has helped almost 500 patients across the country to recover from their disabling arthritis. Giles R. Scuderi, MD, vice president of orthopedics for the North Shore-LIJ Health System, performed Operation Walk USA surgeries for the last four years at Franklin Hospital and is one of the founding members of this medical humanitarian group.
“With Operation Walk USA, it gives us a chance to give back to our community,” Dr. Scuderi said. “I feel that there were patients who are disabled by their arthritic knee or hip, who for financial reasons couldn’t get the benefit of a joint replacement and I want to make our services available to them. And that’s why, with the help of my colleagues on the board and the founding members, we formed Operation Walk USA.”
In addition to getting back to work, Mr. Chalker is looking forward to riding a bike, which he hasn’t done in a few years, and as the father of three daughters, he is looking forward to actively participating in some possible future weddings.