Hand Surgery for Injured Nigerian Woman

Dr. Randall Culp 00077713

Dr. Randall Culp

For years, John Ende and his wife Winnii Kewa of Nigeria searched for a specialist to look at Winnii’s injured right hand. She had been shot in the hand at close range during a robbery at her home ten years earlier.

Since then she’d had two surgeries in Nigeria. Neither procedure, however, restored the range of motion she needed. And after a decade living with the injury, her knuckles bulged as if she had rheumatoid arthritis.

Moreover, she couldn’t move her thumb, which meant she couldn’t pinch or grasp with her right hand.

Meanwhile, the middle class couple had been saving to afford a trip to New York City to attend a conference related to Winnii’s job at a healthcare NGO in Nigeria. Following the conference they planned to travel to Philadelphia to visit family.

In anticipation, John, a businessman, did online research and found the Philadelphia Hand Center at Jefferson.

He exchanged emails with orthopedic hand surgeons A. Lee Osterman, MD, director of the Hand Center and his colleague Randall Culp, MD. Both physicians felt the Hand Center could help Winnii.

Two days after their arrival in Philadelphia in mid-August, John and Winnii had their initial appointment with Dr. Culp. After that visit, Dr. Culp was confident he could restore more range of motion and give Winnii the ability to use of her right hand.

But it would be a delicate operation.

Dr. Culp operating on Winnii's hand.

Dr. Culp operating on Winnii’s hand.

“The bones in her wrist were shattered and tendons and nerves twisted and painful,” the surgeon noted.

The day after that initial appointment Winnii got the necessary pre-surgical lab work performed. She underwent surgery the following day.

“Once we opened her up, we found that her wrist joint was nonexistent, so we first needed to replace it with bone graft and then use plates to connect the forearm to her fingers to  begin to rebuild her hand,” said Dr. Culp. “We also had to transfer some of her tendons and perform a nerve release.”

The surgeon who regularly goes on international medical missions to help people in medically under-served parts of the world added, “This was one of the worst I’ve seen.”

Still, he said, “Her prognosis is for a full recovery, and complete use of her hand in a few months with therapy.”

She’ll continue to see Dr. Culp for follow up care until she returns to Nigeria in September.

John and Winnii are grateful for the opportunity to have the lingering injury repaired. While routine medical care is available in Nigeria, complex surgical care often requires travel out of the country something often out of the reach of all but the wealthiest Nigerians.

The Hand Center and Jefferson cared for Winnii and performed the surgery free of charge.

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11 Responses to Hand Surgery for Injured Nigerian Woman

  1. Ann Marie Conte August 21, 2013 at 10:36 pm #

    This was an excellent informative article
    with so much generosity from The Hand Center! Wishing Winnii complete recovery and so grateful for talented hand surgeons like Dr. Culp!

  2. John EDE August 22, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

    This is indeed one of the most amazing events in our life. We will remain constantly grateful to Dr Culp and The Jefferson Hospital not just for giving us a completely free medical care, which otherwise would have been a huge burden, but for giving Winnii a long-desired hope for better use of her right hand.
    With the extensive surgery Dr Culp performed on her right hand, we are confident that in the months to come, Winnii will regain good functionality of her right hand.
    We note with deep appreciation Dr Culp’s kind heart and eagerness to help Winnii.
    Thanks again “Team Culp”, May the good Lord bless and reward you!

  3. Paul Camiolo August 22, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

    Wow. These are good deeds which speak well for both Dr. Culp and the Philadelphia Hand Center.

  4. Winnii Kewa August 22, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

    I am grateful for the wonderful gift from Dr. Culp and His team. He has given me hope that I had gradually began losing after the years of waiting and hoping for an opportunity.None of the doctors I saw was willing to try to work on the hand. I was amazed that Dr. Culp was willing to “rebuild” the hand, not just that, but at no cost. I am still amazed at this kind gesture.
    Now I can dare to dream of using my right hand better and excited to be on the road to recovery.

  5. Ab Momoh August 22, 2013 at 6:16 pm #

    Grateful to Dr. Culp and The Hand Center for their kindness to John & Winii. Wishing her divine recovery.

  6. Tarimin August 23, 2013 at 4:31 am #

    I look forward to when my sister can braid my hair again, this is indeed a miracle. Thank you Drs. Culp, Osterman and the entire staff of The Philadelphia Hand Center.

  7. Joshua Emmanuel August 23, 2013 at 8:04 am #

    Nice One Dr. Culp.Thanks for your kind humanitarian services.

  8. ONOJA Joe August 23, 2013 at 9:27 am #

    Let me join my voice in saying a big thank you to Dr. Culp and the Jefferson Hospital for this wonderful gesture. I believe it will go a long way to help John and Winnii venture into areas they were skeptical of venturing and achieve dreams that would have been hitherto difficult. Once thank you Dr. Culp and your team!

  9. EWAOCHE OGO August 23, 2013 at 10:16 pm #

    Excellent! The world still has good people.

  10. Frank Winters October 26, 2013 at 9:42 am #

    Dr. Culp, this was very kind of you and the Philadelphia Hand Centers, you are an angel

  11. kabir Tanko April 1, 2014 at 4:57 pm #

    may God advance you in knowledge good doc and to my friend john and his wife i say congratulations

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