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Operation Walk USA is an independent medical humanitarian organization that provides free hip or knee replacement surgeries to US citizens and permanent residents who do not qualify for government assistance programs and cannot afford surgery on their own. Operation Walk USA is committed to helping those in need by restoring their mobility, self dignity and productivity, thus helping them return to work and their social activities. This is the second year Cabell Huntington Hospital has participated in Operation Walk USA.
On Dec. 4, Dr. Ali Oliashirazi, professor and chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and surgical director of the Mary H. Hodges Joint Replacement Center at Cabell Huntington Hospital, performed a free knee replacement surgery from Cabell Huntington Hospital as part of Operation Walk USA. John Rowsey, 53, of Wayne County, was selected as the hospital’s 2013 Operation Walk USA recipient and is now on the road to recovery.
Rowsey said that before the surgery, he struggled to stand or walk because of the intense pain.
"I'm so grateful to Cabell Huntington and Dr. Ali [Oliashirazi] and all these people [involved]," Rowsey said in an interview with The Herald-Dispatch before his surgery.
“Hip and knee replacement surgeries are among the most successful operations in modern medicine,” Oliashirazi said. “Unfortunately, because of finances, some members of our community are unable to benefit from these procedures. Operation Walk USA opens the door widely for these patients, thereby allowing us to give back to the community that has supported us so strongly. We have tripled the number of Operation Walk sites in West Virginia this year versus last year, and our goal is to have 500 participating sites in every state around the country.”