"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen."
1 Peter 4:10-11 (NIV)

Wednesday, April 17: Choma area patients

Wednesday started early with John and I leaving with Protashow to go to Choma about 7:30am. Caro and Whitney stayed at New Day to get the clinic set up and organized a bit more for us to see patients and start on filling the casts that were taken on Tuesday  with plaster to get the process of fabrication started. This also allowed for someone to be available at the clinic before we returned in case anyone came directly to the clinic to be seen. 

 John and Protashow walking up to the Disabilities Office in Choma. We coordinate with the Disabilities Office in Choma each trip for them to help make contact with patients who would benefit from the services we provide.

 There were a ton of people waiting around the Disabilities Office to be seen for screening.

John talking with Ruth and a patient he was screening. Ruth and Hildah work at the Disabilities Office and help coordinate patients for us to see during our trips. They have been great to get to know a little better as we see them each time, and working with the Disabilities Office has been a fantastic partnership. 

 Seeing patients in the small Disabilities Office can sometimes get a little chaotic, but I'm always amazed how people will be waiting when we arrive, for who knows how long, and wait their turn to be seen one at a time for evaluation.

Also while we were at the Disabilities Office, a few people from a local radio station in Choma came to interview us about the work we do. I was still screening patients, so John did the interview and told them about Prosthetic Promises, what we do, how often we come, and our partnering with the Disabilities Office to get patients taken care of. 

We ended up with so many patients who needed to be seen for either a new device or check up, that we made the decision to split them into two groups, because A) there was simply not enough room on the bus to bring everyone back to the clinic who needed to be seen and B) there was not enough team members (and energy level) to see that many people in one day. We had all new eye patients, all new patients for prosthetics and some who needed repair to come on the bus to the clinic on Wednesday. We had to tell 12 other people needing prosthetic repairs and 3 eye patients needing check-up and polishing to come the next Friday, when the new people would come back for fitting. 

We had a full waiting area when we got back to the clinic!

 Cooking lunch for the patients. We always hire these ladies to cook on the days we have patients waiting at the clinic, since they have to wait most of the day while everyone is seen until the bus takes them back to either Macha or Choma. 

Everyone getting served lunch. 

Felix came with his mother for check up. He was fit with a modified walking boot (you can see in the right bottom corner of the picture) to take pressure off his heel where an open wound was in September. Felix had a severe burn that caused amputation of the front of his foot, and he has had continued chronic wound issues. His mother said the wound healed up but then opened again recently. Since his wound is not healed, we cannot make him a prosthesis. We advised them to see a wound care or burn specialist if possible. We got their contact info and have since made contact with Beit Cure Hospital in Lusaka to inquire whether they can help Felix. They have a burn specialists coming to their hospital soon, so Protashow has passed along the information to Felix's mother to have her call them to set up an appointment. Please join us in prayer for Felix as they pursue care at Beit Cure. 

Casting Mutukwa for his first below knee prosthesis.

Caro seeing a patient for repair to his existing prosthesis.

 Casting Steward for an above knee prosthesis. He is 13 years old, so he will be needing more frequent new prostheses as he grows. 

John evaluating a patient for an ocular prosthesis. 

Rhoda came with her father for check up on her bent knee prosthesis for her clubfoot. The bent knee prosthesis still fits, it just needed to be lengthened since she has grown. We first saw Rhoda in 2016, and she was very shy and solemn. Now, she's all smiles around us. We love that!

John evaluating Oswell for a ocular prosthesis. He lost his eye due to a work accident.

This is Emmanuel. He has lower extremity tone due to a neurological issue, which his mother did not know exactly what his diagnosis was. We fit him with a pair of pediatric AFOs (ankle-foot-orthoses) that we had brought. These were modified to fit him and provide neutral positioning of his ankles and feet. Through a translator, we discussed how to put the braces on, a wearing schedule to gradually increase how much he is wearing them and some stretches that his mother can do for his ankles and feet. This is another case where we can provide some treatment of symptoms (ie: braces for lower extremity tone) but we know that he's not getting the overall diagnosis care like he would receive back home. 

John has made this lady an ocular prosthesis in the past, so she came for a check up. Here he's fitting this patient's prosthetic eye after her check-up and cleaning of the ocular prosthesis. 

Wednesday was another packed day with seeing patients all day. There were 30 patients total who were seen on Wednesday---20 prosthetic and orthotic patients, and 10 ocular patients. Though we had more patients on Wednesday vs Tuesday, it went much faster with having Caro there to see patients as well. Caro and Protashow saw patients for repairs while I started with the new patients needing to be casted. After I finished the castings, I helped with repairs as well. 

Next post: Thursday, April 18- Friday, April 19: Fabrication begins and a few more patients!

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