Volunteer Spotlight: Caleb Granger, Kenya
April 14, 2016
Back in 2013, Caleb Granger, NuVasive® Sales Director in Austin, Texas, made his first trip to Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya. When he returned to the hospital in September 2015 to support a mission, he was overcome by the same feelings of gratitude and accomplishment he had on his first trip.
“There is a cultural difference and knowledge transfer that has been introduced and embraced as the NuVasive way. Surgical methods have been adopted and co-opted by the Kenyan clinicians, their residents and fellows.” Said Caleb, “NSF has had a huge impact on Nairobi, Kenya, and that positive impact is rippling out to the entire continent! It is blessing to see and be a part of!”
Caleb and fellow volunteers and surgeons have worked tirelessly to help spread the NuVasive culture of “giving back” and creating a program that is helping to build a sustainable clinical benefit at the Kenyatta National Hospital. The combination of a strong work ethic, focused enthusiasm, and clinical prowess have resonated with the clinicians in Kenya and resulted in more successful surgeries during the missions and in the follow up period.
This particular mission saw an “extremely (unusually) positive level of patient outcomes.” Caleb noted “As a whole, the 15+ patients who the surgeons visited with in the clinic, operated on, and then saw in their rounds, all did markedly better than I would normally expect given the same kind of patient pathology, symptoms, available tools, and surgical technique here in the states. If we would normally expect a 70% increase in function for instance, we were consistently seeing a 90%+ increase in the immediate perioperative period!”
Better patient outcomes mean a faster return to a normal life for the people who come to the NSF™ Spine Project clinic (what the locals have come to know us as). One woman (Agnes Mutuku, 55 years old, underwent T9-T10 XLIF® Corpectomy with posterior fusion) came to the clinic in a makeshift wheelchair fashioned from a lawn-chair because she was in too much pain to stand. Caleb captured this video clip of her after her surgery:
Not only was she smiling, standing, and walking, just days after her surgery, but her pain had diminished so much that she asked the surgeons when she would be able to carry loads balanced on her head so that she could return to work.
Another patient, (Francis Kanja, 61 years old, underwent an ACDF at C5-C7) was not able to lift his arms or close his hands into a fist when he came into the care of the NSF team. This video was taken of him the day after his surgery:
The dedicated efforts of our volunteers and their devotion to improving spine surgery have had a an incredibly positive impact on the skills and services that can now be offered at Kenyatta National Hospital. Thanks to the generous support of our donors, we are able to continually advance the work that the NSF™ is doing in Kenya. This work of treating patients in need of spine surgery and providing training and further teaching to the local surgeons, is something that Caleb and all of us can be proud of.