Wednesday started with Protashow driving John, Suzanne and I to the Macha radio station to pick up patients. The 3 of us went with Protashow to screen patients at the radio station in order to only bring back the ones we could help. There were so many people waiting when we got there! We had Protashow tell everyone to split up---eye patients on the left and leg patients on the right. We then screened each person to see if we could help them. There is a lot of confusion on what services we are actually providing, especially with John's ocular prosthetics.
This little guy could have used some braces, but we don't have the ability to make plastic braces since we don't have an oven.
This man had elephantiasis of his left leg. He knew we couldn't do anything about his leg, but he just came for new crutches. His forearm crutches were in disrepair. We sent a pair of crutches back with Protashow to him.
Patients loading on the bus
There were many people that John evaluated that just needed eyeglasses. He had Protashow tell those people that he would send glasses back later in the day when the patients that we were taking were brought back from New Day. There were also several people that were blind who still had both eyes or were not candidates for being fit with a prosthetic eye. John ended up with 8 people who were candidates to go back to the clinic.
Suzanne and I had several people who needed a prosthetic leg or repair to their current prosthetic leg. There were 3 or 4 children who were brought by parents that had neurological disorders. This was just heartbreaking...several could have benefited from orthoses that we just don't have the ability to make since we don't have an oven or plastics. It was very difficult to tell these parents that we could not help their children.
With the bus full of patients and their family members, we headed back to the clinic at New Day. When we got to the clinic with the bus full of patients, we saw a huge group of people waiting.
I was officially overwhelmed at this point. Protashow talked with everyone to figure out what each person was there for. Most people were there for eyeglasses.
We don't actually do eye exams. We just let people try the glasses until they find a pair that help them either read up close or see far off, which ever they need.
John gave the glasses to Jacey to spread out on the table and help people with finding a pair.
Jacey did a wonderful job helping everyone with the glasses! There were so many people, and I'm sure it was a bit hectic.
While Jacey had the eyeglasses set up in the center of the room, John, Suzanne and I started taking patients into exam rooms to get started evaluating and casting.
Jessica came back this year for new supplies for her leg and got a new pair of shoes. Her prosthesis was made in 2014 and is working well for her. She seems more confident with the prosthesis now and is trusting it more when walking.
Suzanne and Jessica
Joel came for repair. He got his leg last year after being seen in 2014 for casting and not getting the leg until 2015 because he didn't come back for fitting. He got new supplies and a new foot since his current foot was broken.
This is Morrice. He came late during our trip last year, and we didn't have time to see him. I was SO glad to see he came this year. It was so heartbreaking that we didn't have time last year to make him a leg.
Morrice lost his leg in an accident when he fell into a fire.
This is Pilford. He had a prosthesis that was broken. We kept the broken prosthesis and used the socket to make a new one for him.
This is Rhoda. She has clubfoot, so has never walked.
Suzanne casted her for a bent knee prosthesis. Even though she has not had an amputation, she can wear this prosthesis with her knee bent to be able to walk.
John saw this patient last year, and he came back for follow up this year.
Checking out his prosthetic eye using a hand mirror.
John talking with a patient with a translator.
The guy on the left is Melvin. We first saw him in 2014, he came for follow up last year and needed repairs this year. His prosthesis was in disrepair, so he had to leave it with us for a few days for us to get it repaired and new knee and foot put on.
Lots of waiting. There were so many people it took most of the day to see everyone.
Hachoompwe came for follow up this year. He needed new parts including the fabric "sail" for his socket. He had to come back for the new parts to give us time to make the custom fabric sail.
Suzanne also saw a 16 year-old girl who had a prosthesis that was broken and not fitting well, so she was casted for a new prosthesis. And I saw Osia for follow up and new supplies. I had made her a new prosthesis last year, which just needed some adjustments and new foot.
For day one, we had 9 prosthetic patients---3 new people and 6 repairs. Three of the people for repairs would have to come back. It was so helpful to have Protashow translate with patients and assist with repairs! We were also so thankful for Chelle, Cole and Jacey for helping get us parts or tools as we needed them during the busy day.
During the day, Blu had gone to Choma to pick up the contents of the shipping container. So the garage doors, workbenches, shelves, more supplies and the sewing machine table were all brought to the clinic. I was so excited to be able to put together the new sewing machine to use this year! It was a busy first day seeing patients.
*Next post: Thursday, Sept. 8- Patients from Choma