Caterino Riz is a 64 year-old husband to his wife Angelina and father of eight children. Caterino supported his family for many years by working in a coffee factory. Eight years ago, the pain in his knees became so bad that he had to quit his job. The next six years held a series of temporary jobs to make ends meet until three years ago the unbearable constant pain made completing the smallest tasks impossible. Surgery was unthinkable for him, as it was over ten times his yearly salary.
Caterino heard about Operation Walk and the opportunity in Antigua to receive his much needed surgery. He traveled six hours by two buses to get to Hospital San Pedro Hermanos just for the chance to be screened. The ride was long and painful, but Caterino says that he arrived by the grace of God, because he was chosen to receive a knee replacement.
Caterino was one of the first patients out of surgery and was walking within hours of its completion. He quickly transitioned from a walker to crutches and was able to plan his return home just a day and a half after his operation.
His wife was very worried about the tole that the long journey would take on Caterino and mentioned his situation to their local fire department. The “bombaderos” agreed to make the journey into Antigua and bring him home in the ambulance so he would be more comfortable and at a fraction of the cost the bus ride would be.
Caterino and his family say they are beyond blessed and are so thankful for the care they received from both the hospital and Operation Walk volunteers. He cannot wait to get back on his feet and start providing for his family again.