Brent, from our Raleigh office, and a team of helpers just recently returned from their 2014 Guatemala Prosthetic clinic. As always, what an amazing trip! During this week-long clinic, they were able to deliver 26 new prosthetic devices (21 above-the-knee, 3 below-the-knee & 2 arms) and 3 orthotic devices. They also followed-up with 7 repairs from previous patients. Whew!
Each patient had their own unique story and getting to know each one was a real treat for the team. On the first day, one of the patients came in with a below-the-knee prosthesis he had made himself. While he was definitely in need of a new one, they were amazed at how well he had done coming up with the design on his own. Brent suggested the team could use an extra hand in the lab since there was so much work to be done, so they offered this patient a job for the week. He was thrilled! He came every morning and stayed all day until dinner. He was a quick learner and it was very helpful to have an extra set of hands around. He received his new leg mid-week, an orthoses on his other leg and he was so pleased!
One of the most fun parts of the clinic is kids day. While the team enjoyed meeting all the kids, it is extra special that many of the pediatric patients are dear friends now as they have returned each year due to growth. Many of the amputations are a result of birth defects, some to accidents and some to cancer, but regardless the cause, it is so heartwarming to see the kids WALKING away with a huge smile on their face.
What a treat for the team to have the opportunity to lead these clinics, and in the end, it’s the team that walks away actually feeling more blessed just from the time spent getting to know these wonderful Guatemalan friends.
Below are a few pictures and you can click this YouTube link for a short video summarizing the trip: