Patient from Guatemala gets state-of-the-art free treatment - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Patient from Guatemala gets state-of-the-art free treatment in Houston

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A man from Guatemala gets to travel to Houston for extreme life-changing surgery. A surgeon at Houston Orthopedic & Spine Hospital was able to pull off the rare surgery and do it for free! Dr. Brian Parsley met 49 year old Raul Leonardo Sagastuy Herrera, or Leo, through one of his medical missions through "Faith in Practice" in Guatemala. He says Leo's medical needs were far too extreme for him to perform there. "He has been challenged like few patients have been challenged in their life! Starting at age of 18, he was diagnosed with bone cancer. At the time, his family still had capabilities to bring him to the U.S. for the first stage of treatment, which was removal of upper half of his thigh bone and replacement of that cancerous bone with an artificial prosthesis and a substitute for his hip," explains Dr. Parsley. Because of typical wear and tear, that only lasted about a dozen years.

Leo was able to undergo surgery again when he was about 30, but he got a severe infection that required multiple surgeries to save his leg and life. For the past twenty years, Leo has been in extreme pain, until now. "With the grace of tremendous amount of support from implant companies, the hospital where I work at, my services and service of the other anesthesia doctors and medical doctors, who donated their services and equipment to take care of him, is really a blessing for Leo," says Dr. Parsley. Implant providers Stryker Orthopedics and DePuy agreed to the partnership. We found Leo to be all smiles because of it! "So happy, this is a miracle - we are very happy," says Leo.

Dr. Parsley says it took almost five hours to perform the surgery at Houston Orthopedic & Spine Hospital. He started at the bottom of Leo's leg and just worked his way up to the damaged hip. "The biggest challenge - we restored bone in the upper calf and built on artificial thigh bone and re-do his hip and then bone graft damaged bone in his pelvis," explains Dr. Parsley. He replaced all of the hardware in Leo's leg, plus added a new prosthesis.

"I think my quality of life is 100%! I feel very comfortable with me and myself and think I can do almost anything," says Leo. His rehab is as state-of-the-art as it gets.

He got to walk on an anti-gravity treadmill, that was developed by engineers from NASA. They actually zipped Leo into the device, so that it could lift up on his body and defy gravity. He says it wasn't painful at all and he was walking better on it, than he had in thirty years. "I hope to walk like this without antigravity treadmill someday - think I will, I'm going to work on it," exclaims Leo.

Foot, leg, and hip injuries are a common problem that can be extremely difficult to overcome, especially quickly. The new state-of-the art technology that Leo got to use is speeding up the process for a lot of people, from professional athletes to people who are elderly.

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