BOLIVAR, Mo — A Bolivar surgeon flew him into the Ozarks after meeting him on a mission trip.
Imagine traveling 2,000 miles for a surgery that can change your life.
That’s what one man from the Dominican Republic did when he flew to the Ozarks for spinal surgery.
56-year-old Edwin Casado was in a car accident back in 1999, that left his spine severely damaged.
But because of a mission trip, and a doctor that felt like he had to help, Edwin is on the road to recovery.
Dr. Troy Morrison is an Orthopedic Surgeon at Citizens Memorial Hospital in Bolivar.
He and his family attend the Courageous Church in Springfield, and that’s where it all started.
“My church has been going to the Dominican Republic for mission trips, medical mission trips, building mission trips,” says Dr, Morrison.
His meeting with Edwin came together on a medical trip.
“People would just come in and bring their x-rays and MRI scans and in between surgery, we’d sit down in the waiting room and just see patients, look at their x-rays and MRI. Two years ago I met Edwin at the hospital there,” Morrison explained.
A car accident 20 years ago left Edwin Casado in a very bad condition, and Morrison recalls his first meeting with Edwin.
“Edwin came in looking down at the floor. He couldn’t stand up, he barely made it into the waiting room,” says Dr. Morrison.
Edwin had seen doctors and specialists all over the country, all giving him the same message. Everybody told him, that he would have to live with it.
Edwin made a big impression on Morrison, but Edwin wasn’t sure what to think about the youthful doctor.
“The first thing I noticed is that he is really young. I don’t know what he is going to do for me, he is too young,” Edwin thought.
Eventually, an effort was made for Morrison to do the surgery in the Dominican Republic, but some of the x-ray machines weren’t sufficient for the surgery.
That weighed heavily on Morrison, so planning began for a surgery in Bolivar.
The Courageous Church raised the financial support to get the family to Bolivar and CMH helped cover the cost of his surgery.
Four months later, Edwin arrived in Missouri.
After 20 years of pain, Edwin went under the knife for what was his last hope.
“The surgery took 5 hours. The next day he was standing up straight about three inches taller. He was actually walking in the hall at CMH,” Morrison says.
Friday — nine days removed from the surgery — you’d never know anything was wrong.
Edwin says his faith helped him persevere.
“I’ve always had faith that the Lord was going to fix my problem somehow,” Edwin says.
Going forward, he will face some physical rehabilitation. Dr. Morrison plans to be a big part in that.