The Hospital General de la Plaza de la Salud is generous enough to devote an entire 36-bed surgical ward to Operation Walk Boston, which creates a special environment for the patients and staff. The patients are forming friendships based on their shared experience, and cheering each other on before and after surgery.
Two patients who underwent bilateral knee replacements sit with a family member on the surgical floor. Walking and sitting (which forces you to bend your knees) are two of the most important forms of therapy after a total knee replacement.
Patients in the United States tend to prefer private rooms, but here in the Dominican my experience has been that patients enjoy the camaraderie that comes with having a roommate. This photo was taken on the day of surgery for these two women, who had only met one day prior.
Regardless of age, background, city of origin, gender, or type of surgery, the patients are very supportive of each other. Every time a patient returns from the operating room, everyone on the floor claps and cheers. Having so much support and encouragement seems to make it easier for patients to do the necessary -- but often painful -- post-operative therapy.
Forrest H. Schwartz, MD (Orthopedic Surgery Resident)