Monday, April 28, 2014

First Impressions...

As many of our Walk Strong "family" and supporters already know. Dr. Octavio Amador has moved to Nashville to start his year long fellowship with the doctors at the Southern Joint Replacement Institute. I Sat down with Dr. Amador after his first full week in Nashville to pick his brain about his first impressions of Nashville, the hospital, and our culture. I hope to sit down with him several more times through out his stay to keep everyone updated! Dr. Amador will also be posting some of his own journal entries on the blog.

From the first Walk Strong surgical trip in October 2011 Dr. Octavio Amador stood out as a rising star to our physicians and staff, we are happy to welcome him to Nashville and excited to see what the next year will bring. When talking with Dr. Amador he oozed excitment and enthusiasim about being here in Nashville, seeing all there is to see and learning everything he can possibly learn in a year. On the flip side, I'm sure Dr. Amador has a thing or two he can teach us as well.

 Below is the first impression interview, it's so exciting to see his excitement and eagerness to learn new things!

Below are Dr. Amador's responses.....

What was your first thought when you got off of the plane in Nashville?
"I'm chilling" - it was degrees 70 outside ;)

What was your first thought when seeing your apartment?
"it's a castle, just beautiful" - he lives in a 500 sq ft studio apartment in Nashville

First thoughts on Nashville?
"Big, and I love that it is musical" - the state of entire state of Veracruz is roughly the same population of Nashville alone

Favorite food so far?
"Vietnamese, the BBQ place w/ 'redneck tacos', and local beers" - Vietnamese he is referring to Kien  Gaing,  BBQ - Martins, Beers - Yazoo

How would you describe the office?
"Busy, overwhelming, the joint notebook is just amazing"

What about the OR?
"Like a sci-fi experience, when I am in the operating room I feel like a kid in Disney world, just amazing"

How would you describe the people you have encountered?
"Generous, well educated, curious, very gentle (compassionate)"

What is the biggest difference at first glance you see between the practice in  Nashville and  your practice in Veracruz?
"Just one thing would be most definitely the resources"

Is there anything you would like to do or see while you're here in Nashville?
"Um yes, a country music concert, and the professional sports games, if I could I would like to visit Memphis and Atlanta."

Dr. Amador will be spending an entire year here in Nashville doing his fellowship with the SJRI doctors. He is here on a scholarship sponsored by Walk Strong and our supporters. Many of you have already contributed to furnish his apartment, pay for utilities and supply gift cards, on behalf of Dr. Amador and the Walk Strong Foundation, thank you for your generosity.If you are interested in donating to Dr. Amador's fellowship fund please contact Mary Betty at

Friday, April 5, 2013

From The Hearts of Nashville

We started preparing for this day 6 months ago while we were on our last surgical mission trip to Mexico, taking inventory of our supplies, talking with different areas of the hospital to see what their needs were and paying close attention to the patients and families to see what they needed while their loved ones were in the hospital. In addition to our Joint replacement program the Doctors were having meetings to discuss larger more expensive pieces of equipment such as a new sterilizer for the central processing and we were trying to figure out how to supply the pediatric ward with diapers and toys for the sick babies & children. Not long after our plane landed back in Nashville sorting and packing began at our Project CURE warehouse, Donna heads up our inventory and packing and she along with several other volunteers have spent countless hours at the warehouse over the last 6 months sorting, packing, organizing, and labeling our supplies and equipment for this spring trip. Over the last few months we have been hosting a “baby shower” for the pediatric ward in Veracruz. Office & hospital staff along with friends, family, and some complete strangers have participated in donating. We have received over 3,500 diapers, thousands of baby wipes, formula, receiving blankets, baby clothing, & lots of stuffed animals, toys, and books for the sick children.  We have been working on collecting and getting grants for the remaining supplies and medications we needed for the joint program along with things we needed for the hospital in general.  The last two weeks have been “crunch time”  at the warehouse early mornings and late nights as the Walk Strong Volunteers worked to make sure everything was packed and labeled appropriately, Donna was in close correspondence with our customs representative to make sure everything would be in code to make it across the border safely. The last box, box #450 contained our knee implants and was sealed and labeled at 8:30pm the night before the truck was packed.

   At 6:00am Friday march 22 at the project cure warehouse in Nashville we began to strategically organize boxes and equipment for loading. Around 7:00am as more volunteers arrived we began to load our 18 wheeler and by 8:45am we were done, now that’s team work! The truck containing close to a million dollars worth of medical equipment and supplies including, 450 boxes, 14 hospital beds, a new birthing bed, 8 stretchers, a new sterilizer, tons of baby supplies, and lots of other medical equipment is now headed for Veracruz. A lot of blood, sweat, tears, and love were poured into this truck! The Walk Strong crew knows how to work hard and we always have a good time while we do it!  Father John from Saint Thomas hospital came by to give the truck and our trip a blessing. The Walk Strong Cargo team will meet the truck in Veracruz on March the 30th, to unload, unpack, and organize everything before our medical and surgical team arrives on April 4th.

 A special thank you to all of our wonderful volunteers who have participated over the last six months from sorting and packing supplies, to driving the forklift and baking cookies, whatever piece you have to our puzzle you are greatly appreciated and we would not be complete without you.
   To our friends, families, and vendors, thank you for your generous donations, your contributions continue to make a huge impact in the lives of our patients and their families in Veracruz, we are not only operating on patients, educating the staff, and restoring a hospital we are giving hope to their community.

 Veracruz- here we come!