New Day bus at the radio station
Patient walking up to the radio station for screening
After John and Chris screened everyone and people loaded on the bus to head back to the clinic
Meanwhile at the clinic....Amanda, Carolin and I started working to organize and set up patient rooms with casting materials. We started with the clinic basically looking like this...
...and then it got progressively messier as we started seeing patients and working on fabricating.
Even before John, Chris and Protashow got back to the clinic with patients, we had a few arrive who came on their own. Dennis, who has bilateral drop foot, had came last year but we did not have any AFOs (ankle braces). I made sure we brought a pair for him this year, and Protashow called him to have him come back to be fit this year. Even though it was a year later, I am so glad we were able to fit Dennis with braces that make walking much easier and safer for him. Also, Christopher came for a prosthesis, and I got him casted before the bus got back. His amputation above the knee was last year due to a car accident.
Once the bus returned with all the patients, things got very busy! We split up with Chris and I seeing patients for casting and Carolin seeing patients for repairs. Amanda and Protashow assisted us where needed (mostly Amanda assisting me with castings and Protashow assisting with repairs), and John was seeing all of his eye patients. Monday ended up being 9 ocular patients (2 check-ups and 7 new people), 3 orthotic patients, 6 prosthetic repairs and 6 castings for new prostheses/orthoses.
All the patients waiting on the porch, which is a nice shaded "waiting room".
John getting his room set up to start seeing patients.
Chris and Carolin working on prosthetic repairs.
The ladies getting started cooking lunch for the patients. Each year on patient evaluating days and fitting days, we hire these ladies to cook lunch of nshima, beans and cabbage for all the patients.
The older girls from New Day came up on patient days to help with translating, and they also helped people with vision problems with finding eyeglasses. They were such a big help!
My "hope I can figure out how to make this work" face. I brought this shoe specifically for Grey, who is the man who came last year with the severe foot deformity that I fit with a custom shoe. The custom shoe was one that did not work for a patient back home, which worked amazingly well for Grey--turned sideways due to his foot deformity. This shoe is an off-the-shelf option that I brought this year for him, which also worked out well. I'll now know what shoe to order for him each trip. He's been happy with the shoe option we figured out for him since he was unable to wear any type of shoe before.
John evaluating a patient....with his look of focus and compassion.
Protashow at work. He has seen a few patients for repairs during the year since last trip and got a lot more experience this trip with repairs and patient fittings.
This is a patient who came for John to make him a prosthetic eye. He had a stroke resulting in weakness on one side of his body. We were also able to fit him with an AFO (ankle brace) to help him in walking and provide him with a walker.
Amanda getting his walker adjusted in height for him.
Luxon and his dad came for follow up. His prosthesis was still fitting, so he got new supplies and new shoes. "Little" Luxon isn't so little anymore!....he's getting so tall. Chris saw him in 2012 on Prosthetic Promises' first trip when he was not quite 2 years old.
We also saw Hachompwe and Osia for follow up and new supplies this trip. They have both been long time patients as well.
Blessford came back this year for a new prosthesis. He was seen last year to lengthen the prosthesis that he had, which was a straight leg prosthesis. We brought a pediatric prosthetic knee specifically for him this year so that he can have a prosthesis with a bending knee now.
I casted Boyce for a new prosthesis. His prosthesis that we made several years ago is no longer fitting.
This is Harrington, who has a right foot deformity, which is causing him to walk on the outside-front part of his foot. I casted him for a custom AFO to correct his foot as much as possible and enable him to wear a shoe. This is another heartbreaking situation where lack of medical care that we are used to in the U.S. is so apparent. He has something going on neurologically, which causes right side upper and lower extremity tone. The diagnosis is not known (they said he "got sick at a young age"), and I'm not sure the availability of medical care to address these symptoms.
Patient evaluating/casting days are always crazy busy. Monday was a great day filled with lots of people! Tuesday would be another patient evaluating day with patients from Choma.
*Next post-Tuesday, April 24: Choma area patients