President Chris began the meeting by telling us we were in for a real treat as today’s speaker is a neighbor and a very special person. He was not kidding! Dr. Kodi Azari, is a full professor of Orthopedic Surgery and, Plastic Surgery and Reconstructive Transplantation Section (explanation to follow) Chief at UCLA. Dr. Azar is also Co-Director of OPERATION MEND, which is a UCLA Health System program aimed at providing complex reconstructive surgery for wounded service members injured in Operations Enduring Freedom and the Iraqi Freedom war.
Dr. Azari’s presentation was truly amazing and included some pretty graphic photos of damage caused by bombs and IEDs to face, arms, legs, and hands followed by amazing pictures of the reconstructive surgery performed to give these service people back some semblance of a normal life. The photos of the wounded soldiers were not for the lighthearted, as missing features of the head (nose, lips, ears, etc.) made the individual unrecognizable. But the after surgery pictures illustrated the profound advancements in reconstructive surgery techniques. Dr. Azari specializes in hand reconstruction. Lose your hand, no problem. He can assist many in reconstructing/replacing the lost hand with full functionality. Unbelievable and amazing what can be done today in this field.
OPERATION MEND is of no cost to the recipient, Doctors give their time freely and, there are many volunteer opportunities for “Buddy Programs” to assist the patient and, their families. Google this UCLA non-profit and see all the wonderful things it provides to our members of the military.
Second week in a row President Chris’ joke was well delivered and well received!! He is on a roll. Thank you, Jim Crane, for leading the pledge and VP Benjamin Fisher for the “thought of the day”. In honor of Thanksgiving, PP & Song Meister Ed Gauld led us in singing “We Gather Together” all while wearing a Pilgrim hat!
Thank you to all who purchased raffle tickets for this year’s Foundation celebration. We exceeded $7,000 a record for the Club!! I am sorry to report however, that no one from WVRC won the grand prize
HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!