Before Protashow got back to the clinic with the patients, Mama Tembo brought Chileleko back for some modifications to his braces. We had been observing him walking with the braces at Prayer and Praise on Wednesday night and wanted to change a few things.
We also casted him for some custom braces to be made back in the U.S., and I will bring them back to fit him in April. We did a "double team" to get him casted pretty quickly. He was much more cooperative this time.
The lollipop for distraction probably helped a lot. 🙂
Protashow arrived with the van and all the patients from Choma.
Patients waiting on the porch.
Malawo with a cute little smile as he waited to be seen.
Christopher got a below knee prosthesis.
Suzanne fitting Christopher with the prosthesis and explaining all the instructions for using the prosthesis.
Next part is working on gait training. We work with each patient on how to shift their weight back and forth between each side as they get used to walking with a prosthesis. It's basically learning to walk all over again with a totally different feeling, so it takes time and lots of instructions.
Richard being fit with his prosthesis. In this picture, I'm behind him checking the height of the prosthesis to make sure he was level on both sides.
Next part is learning to walk on the prosthesis. It's much harder to learn with an above knee prosthesis like Richard was fit with than below knee.
Suzanne fit Grace with her below knee prosthesis.
We gave Grace a walker to use for standing and walking for stability and safety.
Suzanne making some alignment changes for Grace's prosthesis.
Cledness got a new below knee prosthesis. She has been wearing a prosthesis for a number of years, but her old one just doesn't fit anymore. The type of prosthesis we make it a bit different than the style she was used to, so we talked a lot about the differences and instructions with the new type.
Because she's worn a prosthesis before, I didn't have to spend time with Cledness working on gait training. She knows how to walk with a prosthesis, so I just needed to watch her walk to make sure the prosthesis was aligned correctly.
Fitting little Malawo was definitely one of the highlights of the trip. He is such a cutie!
Suzanne working on balance with him. Malawo is deaf and mute, so training with him to use the prosthesis involved us putting him through the motions so that he could feel what it's like to balance and take steps.
Suzanne talking with Malawo's father on instructions on how to put on and take off the prostheses and all the instructions he needs to help Malawo learn to use the prostheses to walk.
Then Suzanne got to work right away on making Malawo a walker. Gaye had some caster wheels that were attached to the walker posts that don't have wheels.
Suzanne cut all the walker posts short and smoothed the edges.
After the caster wheels were attached....ta-da! A perfect walker for Malawo. The walker was completed after Protashow had left to take patients back to Choma. So Protashow will contact Malawo's father to get the walker to them.
We were expecting Simon and Thelma as well from Choma, but they weren't at the Disabilities Office in time to get on the van to come in the morning. Hilda from the Disabilities Office was in contact with Thelma on the phone, and Protashow was in contact with Simon on the phone to coordinate them getting to the turn off from the paved road by the afternoon for someone to pick them up.
Doing some alignment changes to his prosthesis. Simon did really well understanding the instructions on how to walk with the prosthesis. I'm sure he will be walking without crutches very soon!
Thelma came with her mother for fitting of her prosthesis. They had been traveling all day since very early to get to the clinic from Sinazongwe, which is about 160 km from the clinic.
Thelma did really great with the prosthesis! Her mother was so happy for her that she started crying. We'll see her for follow up in April.
Mulenga had picked Simon and Thelma up at the turn off from the paved road in the afternoon and took them back there once we were finished with fitting them with their prostheses. We gave them both transport money to get back home from there.
After everyone left, we packed up the clinic. With all of Louise's organizing, packing up was a breeze. We have things easy to access for Protashow to see patients if needed before April for any adjustments or repairs. And....we know where things are for an easier start for our April trip. We can never thank Louise enough for her organizing awesomeness!!
*Next post: Saturday, Sept 22- Monday, Sept 24: Our last patient and heading home...