Dr. Michael George Brings State-of-the-Art Care to Nicaragua

A group of 25 volunteers from Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Tennessee completed a three-armed medical mission trip to Nicaragua as part of the Brandon Kirk Sims Foundation Charity (BKS Foundation) in July 2017. Houston-based Orthopaedic Surgeon, Dr. Michael George and his surgical team performed 16 total knee replacements in 3.5 days at the hospital in Jinotepe, Nicaragua. In addition to Dr. George, the surgical team consisted of nurse anesthetists, operating room nurses, surgical technicians, a physician assistant and an equipment representative.

"We wanted to assemble a diverse group of unique individuals from various backgrounds with specific talents channeled toward a common goal of helping others. We were able to treat the patients in need and also provide education for the Nicaraguan Orthopaedic Surgeons. The surgical team did an unbelievable job of overcoming any limitations of the facilities and environment to provide the same high-quality care that we give our patients at home” stated Dr. George.

The knee replacement implants and surgical instruments were donated by the mission trip's flagship sponsor, Stryker Orthopaedics, while other supplies and funding were donated by Capital One Bank, BBraun Medical, Cardinal Health, MAP International, Americares Organization, Medical Bridges, West Monroe Endoscopy Center, Franklin Medical Center, Grace Hospice Foundation, Jimmy Coughran MD Medical Company, TOPS Surgical Specialty Hospital, and Houston Northwest Medical Center as well as various other sponsors and individual donors.

Blaise Sims, a nurse anesthetist, and director of the BKS Foundation said, "We are humbled by the graciousness and generosity of Stryker Orthopaedics, our sponsorship organizations, and our individual donors. This mission would not have been possible without their support. It's truly remarkable to see what amazing things can happen when people and organizations come together for one unified charitable cause."

The BKS Foundation group also had a construction crew that built three houses for local villagers and a mission arm that visited local children and a shelter for abused women. The mission trip was coordinated through a charity organization named Nicaraguan Christian Outreach, based in Louisiana. NCO provided housing, food, and translators for the team from BKS. “Everyone on the team used their individual skills and talents to contribute to the team in their own special ways," said Sims. He and his family founded the charity in honor of his disabled older brother, Brandon, in order to help disadvantaged people in a variety of situations in the US and abroad. “Our goal is to provide for those who can not provide for themselves. Fortunately, we were blessed with a dedicated and selfless group of volunteers to make an impact on this disadvantaged group in Nicaragua.” Sims and the BKS team plan on organizing additional future mission trips to Nicaragua and other Central American communities in need. The trip was documented by the photography/videography team of Ben and Abbey Boutwell of Nashville, TN.