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Needy Area Residents Get Medical Help Toward A New Life

By Lynne Adkins

BENSALEM, Pa. (CBS) -- Seven needy patients received valuable holiday gifts today:  free knee and hip surgeries.

One of them, 61-year-old Ralph Pascale of Skillman, NJ, was ready to start a new life, free of the excrutiating pain in both arthritic hips.

"I'm very immobile, use a cane to get around, sleeping is difficult, and I have a young son who's 13, who's very active, and I can't do things with him," he said.

Pascale has no health insurance, so he applied to Operation Walk, which sponsors the surgeries worldwide.  And everything is free for the patient.

"They're truly stuck and debilitated," says Dr. Eric Smith, one of the Rothman Institute surgeons involved.   "They can't work because of the pain of arthritis.  And this way we can at least branch out at least once a year and give people a holiday gift and get them back to a great life."

A great, active life.

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