Andrea Jimenez is a seventy year-old mother of five children who works locally in Antigua as a caterer. Andrea has suffered for over twenty years from rheumatoid arthritis that has worsened by her many years working as a housekeeper. Since she was a single mother, she needed to find work that was less physically demanding, so she began cooking and delivering her food. Each morning she would get on the bus with her client’s orders, but as the years went by it became more and more difficult to do. In the past year, her pain has increased so much that she needs to schedule several days of rest between deliveries. Her knees had become so stiff that other passengers had to physically lift Andrea on and off the bus.
Andrea considers herself to be one of the luckiest people on earth. She is confident that with the surgery she received from Operation Walk, that not only will she be able to go back to a full work schedule, but will be able to do the one thing she loves the most, dancing. Salsa is her passion and she cannot wait to get back on the dance floor. “This is my second chance” she told me a day after her surgery. “The pain is already less and I am walking. Thank you for giving me back my independence.”