My two sons ( Jackson 11 and Luke 10 years old) and I departed El Paso Airport on the 8th of February at 6am with a connecting flight to Dallas, then to Dubai with the final destination of New Dehli. We spent 24 hours in New Delhi awaiting a connecting flight to Vijayawaada. Upon arrival in Vijayawaada (located in the southeast part of India in the Andhra Pradesh Providence)we were transported out on a one and a half hour drive to the small city of Gudivada where are hotel was located. After trying to get a good night sleep we started our first medical camp on the outskirts of Gudivada. Our hosts rented out a small reception hall and when we walked in there were many people that had been lining up for hours. I treated about 100 patients from about 9am to about 1pm. The treatments consisted of a 1 minute short history (using a translator), blood pressure and blood glucose reading, which was conducted by 2 Indian volunteer nurses. Then the patient was treated Chiropractically along with supportive taping from Spider-Tech. The patient was then given some vitamins depending on their condition or referred to a medical professional in the city of Vijayawaada for follow-up. One patient that I remember specifically was a little old man who had never seen a doctor in his life with a complaint of knee and low back pain He was barefooted and slightly bowlegged and was having trouble just walking with the assistance of a cane. After being treated and taped with full-knee Spider-Tech tape he was able to walk without his cane. He was so thankful and began to cry.
After having a small lunch we traveled for about 2 hours to the very small village of Bantumelli. We treated about another 100 patients until 9 o’clock at night and had to stop due to losing electricity which is common in the villages. The place where we set up the camp was a very small building attached to a house. The mosquitos were bad and there were water buffalo everywhere. Most of the people that were treated were villagers and some shepherds. One of the patients that really stuck out to me that night was a local barber who had hurt his back during a fall 10 years ago and was having to sleep upright in his barber chair due to the pain in his low back. He told me “I have not laid down flat for 10 years due to my pain”. The patient was treated and supported with a low back Spider-Tech tape and the patient noted after treatment and taping, “I am feeling much better”. We then headed back for a two hours bumpy ride back to Gudivada which consisted of dodging herds of goats and water buffalo carts.
The next day we were driven for another one and a half hours to the city of Gannavaram. A tent was set up in the middle of a field with lawn chairs set up. I was told that some of the patients had traveled 3 hours by rickshaw to be treated. We worked from 9am until it got dark that night and were able to treat about 250 patients that day. There were some political problems and uprisings in the local area that day and people were rioting and yelling in the streets and at times we got very nervous. Many cricket players were treated that day for shoulder problems and even some of the local police.
The third day of camps was spent in the village of Vuyyuru which was along a major rode on the way to the Vijayawaada airport. There were people everywhere and trying to keep up was a challenge. We treated many ankle and knee conditions which was complicated by the fact that few people there wear shoes. A local medical physician came in because his lower neck had been bothering him and was unable to look down very far. After being treated and supported with a neck Spider-Tech he was able to move his neck much better. About 10 minutes later the doctor’s whole staff showed up, along with many other local medical professionals. They were very interested in the Spider-Tech taping mechanism along with the Chiropractic treatments. About 250 patients were treated that day. It was Valentine’s Day and many men were buying Jasmine necklaces for their wives. Throughout the day many media (newspaper and TV) people came and took pictures and filmed the treatments and taping.
The last day of medical camps was held in the village of Ventrapragada which is a village along a branch of one of the major rivers of the region. We treated patients that day in an empty room of in the bottom floor of an unfinished building. It was very hot and there were many people waiting. Most of the people had a 4 hours wait time and again some people had traveled over 3 hours to be treated. Most of the people that were seen had never been treated by a medical professional before. Again, we treated mostly the poor in the village along with shepherds and some of the local police. We were able to treat between 250-280 that day. The barber from the first day came up to me and started to cry and told me since his treatment he has been able to lie down flat on a cot at night and much of his low back pain is gone. I re-treated and re-taped him and he was very thankful. There were many patients with knee and shoulder pain and the local women had many complaints in the lower neck and upper back/shoulder due to carrying water from the local well.
The last day that we were there it started to rain. I wanted to try to see more patients but was unable do to because of the rain. The flight back was 33 total hour s and we were beat when we got home, but felt very good about our 2014 trip. Thanks to all the people and volunteers that helped make this trip possible. And to Spider- Tech for helping to ease the pain of hundreds of Indian people.