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Canadian couple goes to Cuba for her orthopedic surgery,  instead both get treated

A Halifax couple, Vern and Diane Paul went to Cuba for her double-knee replacement, but instead they both were operated on.

The Pauls departed Halifax for Havana on Oct. 14th for what they assumed would be a double-knee replacement for Diane. However, her Cuban doctors at Havanas Cira Garcia hospital determined that she didnt require a complete knee replacement. Instead, they treated her legs with massage therapy, drained water from her knees and realigned her leg, including surgery to attach small bolts to her knees. They also did a nutritional analysis and developed an improved diet for her to help her to lose weight to alleviate her knee pain. She will continue a physiotherapy regimen to continue to improve her condition.

And, her husband Vern, who accompanied her for moral support, was so impressed with the hospital and the high quality of care that he decided to have surgery, too. He had cosmetic surgery (called "blepharoplasty") to remove the bags under his eyes.

Reached by phone in Havana, Diane said, "Everything is wonderful. My God, it is absolutely amazing the outstanding care that I am receiving. The doctors and nurses are so caring and attentive, its like nothing I have ever seen before."

Diane, 57, who had been in constant serious pain for years from her condition, added, "The only pain that I have now is a slight pain in my kneecap, but my doctors tell me that they will go away soon. I felt good enough that I went out to see Old Havana yesterday."

Her husband is equally pleased.

"Our treatment has gone beautifully, absolutely beautifully," Vern said.

Diane Paul, 57, went to Cuba for medical care because she would have had to endure a one-year wait to have a double-knee replacement in Canada. And, in the US, the cost would be prohibitively expensive. So, she learned about Choice Medical Services, a medical tourism firm that arranges for patients to go to Cuba to receive high quality and affordable medical care.

"Choice is thrilled for Diane and Vern that their treatments and trip went so well," said Bill Doran, CEO of Choice Medical Services. "Its so impressive that the Cuban medical professionals could save her from having a difficult and more invasive surgery, and provide Diane with an alternative and proven treatment to alleviate her prior, constant pain. And, it was a total surprise, but we were glad to schedule Vern in at the last minute for his procedure. Hes coming back a 'new man with a younger and improved look."

According to Choice, Dianes double-knee replacement would have cost about $19,000, including spending two weeks at the hospital and two weeks recovering at a Cuban oceanside resort. Instead, her completed treatment will cost about $5900. And, Verns treatment will cost $1000, but would have cost four times as much in the US or Canada. His cosmetic surgery treatment is not covered by the Canadian health plan.

The Pauls plan to return to their Halifax home in early November.


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