Hear More on Fidèle Story of Adoption, Prosthetics and Hope

Take a look at this video to hear more of Fidèle’s story

YouTube – Sharing Fidèle’s story

and click HERE for a Facebook video of Fidèle singing his beautiful song of praise to God!

(video courtesy of Rebecca Petty)

Many thanks to Bethel Free Will Baptist Church for  inviting Fidèle to share his story with your congregation.

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Hope for Fidele!

Born healthy, with two strong legs, can you imagine the devastation of Shep Kpankpan Fidele at the reality of amputation due to bone cancer at the young age of 10? Yet now, 5 years later, Fidele’s hope and wholeness is renewed with a prosthesis.

In June, EastPoint, owned by Paul Sugg, partnered with EP Legacy Inc.,(Sugg’s own nonprofit organization) and 1040i for Humanity, (a nonprofit organization out of Oklahoma dedicated to providing aid in the developing world) to travel to Ivory Coast to deliver 15 prostheses. This was where they first met Fidele, but due to the size of his leg they were unable to provide a permanent prosthesis with the right fit so they made a temporary solution until arrangements could be made for Fidele to come to Kinston to receive his permanent prosthetic device!

On August 26th, Fidele, along with his Pastor and 1040i for humanity President, Mike Cousineau, arrived in Kinston for this life changing event. After several days of enjoying local restaurants and attractions, Fidele was thrilled to finally receive his own personal prosthesis with state of the art technology including the socketless socket by Martin Bionics and a Niagara foot.  At 15 years old, Fidele will once again be able to go to school and work to help provided necessary financial contributions to his family.

When Fidele was given the temporary prosthesis in June, he said, “now I can really be someone,” according to Cousineau, “It gives him a sense of dignity and mobility.” While here, Fidele even got to meet Miss North Carolina, a co-Anchor for WNCT TV 9. You can see their story here: WNCT TV 9 New Article

Thank you to all who partnered in this exciting journey!

 

(Jimbo and Wes Perry, Woodmen Water Park, Timmy Lanier of Pizza Villa, Mike Filcher at Simply Natural Creamery, John McPhaul from Chick fil A, Rusty and Michelle Williams and family, Miss North Carolina, WNCT TV 9, EP Legacy, 1040i for humanity, Socketless Socket by Martin Bionics, Niagra Foot)

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“Juncture At The Still Point” by Sandra Jung Hall

File Jun 09, 10 06 31 PM“In October of 2013, three-month-old Heidi is diagnosed with the most common fatal disease of  infants, Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Juncture at the Still Point is a mother’s true story of grief, spiritual growth and hope in an incredible era of advancements in treatments for genetic diseases.”  (Patchwork Publishing)

 

We are honored to be a part of Heidi’s journey and grateful for her mother’s inspiration to write this book. Thanks to their generosity, we have a free copy to give away!

 

 

This book is available on Amazon.com or you can win a free copy by visiting

our EastPoint Facebook page and liking, commenting on or sharing the post. File Jun 09, 10 06 20 PM

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Willing Hands Give Independence, Hope and New Opportunities

1 week. 30 prostheses. 23 verbal professions of faith. Numerous lives changed.

It is amazing how God works to bring people together to open doors and to provide opportunity. A team of six traveled to San Salvador, El Salvador to partner with Rotary and FUNTER to provide prosthetic care and to share the light of Christ.

The first day involved evaluating and casting the patients. We were amazed by the ingenuity and resiliency as one of the first patients walked in on a leg he had made himself from a single piece of wood.

 

The next two days we were all immersed in modifying and fabricating to be ready to fit and deliver Thursday and Friday.

 

 

The people of El Salvador are full of generosity and gratefulness. For one of our patients with a left transtibial amputation, this was the first time she had walked in two years.  As a thank you gift her and her husband gave a basket full of fresh fruit. She came in with her only pair of shoes. She does not work and has very little. This was a tremendous gift. She was so grateful for the chance to walk again and to work.

 

 

While in El Salvador we were also able to partner with the Fridenstine’s and the work their team is doing with Emmanuel Baptist Church and Emmanuel Baptist School in Cojutepeque, El Salvador. We had the privilege of sharing the gospel through colored bracelets and handed out over 180 backpacks to the students.

 

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“and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8:32

 

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“El Salvador is calling and we must go.”

 

 

 

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Pediatric Prosthetics

Over the years, the Prosthetic Industry has made significant advancements in designs, components, materials and processes. The increase in comfort and functionality of prosthetics these days is outstanding…as long as you are over the age of 12 that is. What has lagged behind is the entire field of pediatric prosthetics for young children – who in actuality have significant strength, motivation and fervor. Thankfully, a handful of individuals and companies in the field have recognized the need for development in this area and are making strides to help pediatric prosthetic patients excel.

Take a look at this recent article from OandP.com, a leading resource of up and coming orthotic and prosthetic news. EastPoint’s Raleigh clinician, Brent Wright, even ways in on the subject in the article. You’ll also see a recent picture of our sweet little patient Miyah!

OandP.com Article – Pediatric Prosthetics

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Prosthetic Clinics in the Developing World

 

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        Diabetes, infection, motor-bike accidents, land mines, and birth  defects (due to poor nutrition and water) are some of the leading causes of amputations in the developing world. Most amputees in these parts of the world live in extreme poverty, often on less than a few dollars a day, making it simply unattainable to receive prosthetic care.     IMG_2834

At EastPoint, part of our core values are to glorify God as He uses our gifts and abilities to transform lives. One of the ways we do this is by addressing these prosthetic needs in the developing world. In February and March, some of our clinicians and prosthetic residents will head to Guatemala and to El Salvador. While there, we will work with local partners in those areas to facilitate free prosthetic clinics. It is such a blessing to not only meet the physical need of providing prosthetic devices and care, but also to build relationships with the patients there as we share the love of Christ in both word and in deed.

MJ helping outPlease keep our teams in your prayers throughout February and March as they prepare for these clinics and travel to these countries. We look forward to sharing stories about their experiences and about the wonderful people they are able to care for.  IMG_8832

 

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Tis’ the Season for New Year’s Resolutions

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What’s on your list for 2016 resolutions? For many, improving their health is at the top of the list. This may include making better food choices, such as adding more fruits and vegetables or cutting back on sugar, or your goals may be exercise related, to become more active and strengthen your body. Whatever it is, taking care of the body we are given is important. If you are an amputee though, figuring out ways to be more active can often feel daunting. Perhaps you might like these suggestions for improving strength and flexibility.

Flexability

Movement and stretching are key for all amputees. It’s important your body doesn’t stay locked in any one position for too long. For example, if you are a below-the-knee amputee, be sure to fully extend your knee in a stretch position throughout the day each day (perhaps 15-20 minutes each time). You can stretch it out on a couch, a chair or even the floor. Just be mindful of releasing your knee from its bent position for at least short periods of time each day.

It’s also important for amputees to keep their hips stretched out. So much of your walking strength and balance comes from this area. Try lying on the floor on your stomach with your hips flat on the ground. Do this a couple times a day for 10-15 minutes. For an even better stretch, slightly lift up your head and shoulders or even place a couple pillows under your chest to prop you up while your hips are stretching out.

Strength 

Hips and Legs: For strengthening your hips, lie on each side while you raise and lower your leg or residual limb on the side that is on top. Repeat on each side. Try several repetitions of these each day, and if possible, continue to keep the side of your body that is on the ground straight to continue allowing the hips to stretch out. This will improve strength in your hip abductors and adductors. If you want to strengthen hamstrings and quads, the suggestion is similar. For quads: while lying on your back on the floor, raise and lower each leg one at a time. For hamstrings: change to lying on your stomach on the floor and repeat the same process, raising and lowering one leg at a time.

Arms: Arm strength is another important area to not neglect. Arm exercises can be done in a variety of ways. If you own or have access to an exercise machine, take advantage of the various arm settings it offers, or even simple dumbbells can be used at home. You want to use some some weight resistance for strengthening these muscles. If your amputation allows you to do push-ups or tricep dips, this is a great way to strengthen your arms with your natural body weight.

Balance: Lastly, amputees must have good balance and this takes lots and lots of practice. Start first with balancing exercises on your good leg. While standing just on that leg, try reaching out for things, bending down to pick something up, twisting for something behind you etc. This takes a lot of work and really improves your core strength, where your balance stems from. Once you get better at doing these things on your good leg, start slow and try them while standing only on your prosthesis. Be sure to practice these moves safely, either with another person around to catch you or with a walker or wheelchair nearby. Also, don’t forget functional training for every day activities like shifting your balance back and forth between each leg, climbing a step, or even kicking a ball. You might just surprise yourself with what all you can do.

Remember, your overall health as an amputee plays a key role in your mobility. Keeping your body at a healthy weight, make good food choices, and practicing daily flexibility and strength training exercises are going to make a significant difference in your success. Becoming an amputee has likely shown you that you are stronger than you ever thought you were – keep up the good work as you inspire us all with your courage.

(Keep in mind, we are not doctors and this information is not intended to be taken as medical advice. Please consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine.)

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More Than Just ‘Horsing Around’

horses_horse_riding_horseback_riding

We all know that animals provide significant, positive, therapeutic impact both physically and mentally. A variety of animals are often used for therapy services, but many would say there’s just something extra special about horses.

Therapeutic horseback riding actually dates back to fifth century B.C. Greece as a means to rehabilitate wounded soldiers. It was also used by the English during WW I and eventually became a more prevalent means of therapy in the U.S. in the late 1960’s. (1)

Over the years, studies on equine therapy have shown improvements in everything from balance, pain, and muscle stiffness, to improved sense of self-worth, impulse control, emotional management and socialization skills. (2)

Typically, patients are evaluated based on their individual needs and a specific method of therapy is selected. The method may be a form of equine psychotherapy, horseback riding, or hippotherapy. Hippotherapy is based on the repetitive and rhythmic sensory input provided specifically through the pelvis of the rider. The various gait patterns of the horse can provide different levels of input which can improve sensory processing and neurological function of riders. (3) Hippotherapy can be a very effective healing tool for children with special needs including but not limited to down’s syndrome, cerebral palsy, brain injuries and autism. (4)

Eastern North Carolina is very fortunate to offer four nearby options for Equine Therapy, not to mention a variety of private behavioral health professionals offering this service. What a unique and fun format for rehabilitation, therapy and healing!

Nearby Programs:

Hope Reins – Raleigh, NC 27615

http://hopereinsraleigh.org

Helping Horse Therapeutic Riding Program – Raleigh, NC 27613

http://www.helpinghorse.org

Horses for Hope – Raleigh, NC 27603

http://horsesforhope.org

Horse and Buddy – New Hill, NC 

http://www.horseandbuddy.org

 

 

Works Cited:

1. http://www.neurologycare.net/hippotherapy-and-therapeutic-horseback-riding.html

2. http://www.equestriantherapy.com

3. http://www.equestriantherapy.com/hippotherapy/

4. http://www.equestriantherapy.com/hippotherapy-kids-special/

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Exciting New Development in Pediatric Prosthetics

As many of you know, this past year EastPoint became the first clinical partner with LIM Innovations, out of San Francisco, California. In September of 2014, LIM released a revolutionary new socket design, a game-changer in the prosthetic world, the Infinite Socket. The Infinite Socket is the first of its kind to offer a completely customized fit so patients can make their own adjustments as often they choose.

After we found success with several adult patients in this new socket, we strongly urged LIM to continue their developing and release a pediatric version. We are thrilled to announce that they not only honored our request, but they also decided to use one of our sweet kiddos, Miyah as the face behind this new pediatric socket. Miyah loves the LIM Infinite Socket, and her Mom loves the ability to customize the fit on their own, at any time.

Offering this kind of personalized fit for pediatric amputees is a huge step forward for the field of prosthetics. We are so proud of Miyah and her success, and we are thankful to continue being a part of her journey.

Check out additional coverage of her story here: NY Times – Miyah

Miyah

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A Journey Towards Hope From Palestine to Kinston, NC

We are honored we had the opportunity to help a new friend, 16 year-old Anan Fahid, who traveled all the way from a refugee camp in Jericho, Palestine to Kinston, NC to receive his first prosthetic leg. The Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund found EastPoint while searching online for an option for Anan. When PCRF saw EastPoint’s heart for serving and loving all of our patients both local and overseas, they knew we would be a good fit. The PCRF provided funding for Anan’s travel and Paul Sugg, owner of EastPoint Prosthetics and Orthotics, provided and fit Anan with his new leg.

Anan lost his leg two years ago due to cancer, and while he never imagined he would be in the USA, receiving a prosthetic leg, he never lost hope for what his future held. Hope, in fact is Anan’s biggest message to others, never give up, there IS hope.

During one of Anan’s appointments we were thrilled to introduce him to Faizal Handoon, an aspiring Paralympian who is also one of our patients. Faizal was able to share more with Anan about the unlimited opportunities he still has as an amputee. We appreciate Faizal for taking the time to meet with Anan and encourage him along the way.

Anan with continue to stay with a host family in Greenville, NC while he continues to gain strength and adjust to his new prosthesis. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Anan and seeing what his future holds.

palestinian1

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