Dr. Rick Hodes has devoted his life to Ethiopia’s poor and sick. He went there in the mid-1980s to help victims of the famine. Thirty years later he is still there, saving hundreds of young lives. His patients suffer from afflictions that are unheard of in the West, tuberculosis of the spine, which strikes children causing twisted backs, collapsed lungs and death.
Dr. Hodes met two orphans with tuberculosis of the spine. He adopted them and facilitated their necessary surgeries which set in motion the launch of the Ethiopian spine program. During the first year, he had 20 new patients with spinal deformities. The clinic currently averages more than one new patient a day.
Now backed by UBC’s medical faculty, international surgical care branch, trips by doctors from UBC ensure that more life-altering care is provided to thousands of youngsters and that the next generation of medical staff in Ethiopia is being educated by experts in the procedures.
Dr. Hodes met two orphans with tuberculosis of the spine. He adopted them and facilitated their necessary surgeries which set in motion the launch of the Ethiopian spine program.
Dr. Hodes was recognized as a CNN Hero in the category “Champion of Children”.
We are now dealing with the most complex and deformed spine patients on the planet and able to give them back their lives. We’re also helping generate important new knowledge about complex spine disease and how it can be treated.- Dr. Rick Hodes