Healthline: Operation Walk

Healthline: Operation walk

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A Baton Rouge man recently got the Christmas gift of a lifetime. Jason Bradford is taking steps on his own again thanks to a program called Operation Walk that's changing lives around the world.
At 30-years-old, Bradford never thought he'd be relying on a walker and cane to get around. A rare condition called avascular necrosis cut off blood supply to his hip joints. Once the bones collapse, the only option is double hip replacement. It's a $40,000 procedure without insurance.
Bradford didn't pay a dime for the crucial surgery thanks to Operation Walk. The program is made up of a network of surgeons and hospitals that volunteer their time for deserving patients.  
"You never expect that," Bradford said from his recovery room at Our Lady of the Lake. "That almost never happens, so it's like winning the lottery really."
Orthopedic surgeon Robert Easton, M.D. started a Baton Rouge chapter of Operation Walk in 2015. He previously worked with another chapter operating on patients in Guatemala, Panama and Honduras.

"It's a great, rewarding experience. This is why I went into medicine, to help people," Easton said. "I wanted to bring it to Baton Rouge."

Bradford is the second local recipient of the free surgery, and Easton plans to continue with at least one patient per year. Joint companies donate the implants, and the other surgeons and nurses involved in the case all work for free.
Deserving patients like Bradford are referred to Easton by other doctors. Without the surgery he would be in a wheelchair. Instead he'll now be headed back to work at his plant job and spending a lot more quality time with his family.

"I have two girls, so I can start doing things with them again on the weekends and just having somewhat of a normal life again," Bradford said.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Operation Walk.

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