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Life-changing Surgeries Help Hundreds in India

  • May 8, 2013

“You will never meet the folks you have helped, but you can be assured that you have given them a precious gift”
—Dr. Joe Bardenheier IIIDr. Joe Bardenheier and his medical team are accustomed to seeing patients with untreated burns, tumors, and injuries in the fourteen years they have been operating an annual free surgical camp in Khammam, India.One such patient, a young girl suffering with a severely disabling burn, received life-changing surgery supported by product donations from AmeriCaresMedical Outreach Program. According to team doctors, the girl arrived at the January, 2013 surgical camp with an extensive burn scar deformity that “pulled her thumb 180 degrees so that it pointed up her arm.” Using key surgical products donated by Zimmer and other corporate partners, the doctors were able to release the contractures and turn her thumb back to its normal position, while using a harvested skin graft on her wrist. The surgery will make a profound difference — today, the girl has near-normal function in her hand.

Making a difference, one patient at a time

“You will never meet the folks you have helped, but you can be assured that you have given them a precious gift,” said Dr, Bardenheier.

This young patient is just one of thousands helped by the free surgical camp, operated by Friends of Christ in India since 1999. Each January, Dr. Bardenheier’s medical team arrives at St. Mary’s Mission Hospital in Khammam, India, to examine hundreds of indigent patients in desperate need of care.On the first day of the 2013 camp, the team consulted with more than 200 patients and scheduled surgeries including burn scar revision, tumor removal, dental work, and others. During the next eleven days, 954 patients were screened and 338 surgical procedures completed.“You will never meet the folks you have helped, but you can be assured that you have given them a precious gift,” said Dr. Bardenheier. Dr. Bardenheier’s medical team is one of hundreds that travel to impoverished communities around the world each year supported by AmeriCaresMedical Outreach Program. The program donates medicines and medical products to skilled, U.S.-based volunteer medical teams traveling to countries where even basic health care is unavailable or unaffordable. In 2012, our Medical Outreach Program provisioned 1,050 volunteer medical teams with more than $40 million in medical and surgical supplies traveling to 83 countries, including $8.6 million in support of AmeriCares emergency response initiatives. Learn about the Medical Outreach program here.Read MoreDonate Now