"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 24- Thursday, April 25: Finishing fabrication and patient fittings

Wednesday we continued getting prostheses ready for fittings, and we also had 2 prosthetic patients and 1 ocular patient come for fitting. 

 David came for fitting of his prosthetic eye. Here's a "before".

 And "after".

 He was so happy!

 And Jessica came by for a check up! It was so good to see her and her husband. She only needed new prosthetic supplies and shoes. 

And Kayombo came for fitting of his above knee prosthesis. He is a friend of Margaret's, who is a house mother at New Day. He had come on Saturday for casting, and we had him come back on Wednesday (the fastest we felt like we could get him back to give us enough time to make the prosthesis) since he was staying in the area until fitting of his prosthesis before he could go back to Lusaka. 

Here Protashow is checking the height of the prosthesis before we started working on walking and gait training. 

Thursday was a bigger patient fitting day with people from the Macha area coming to the clinic. Protashow drove the bus to pick up patients at the Macha radio station on Thursday morning while the rest of us stayed at the clinic to get things ready for fittings. 

 Marytah came with her son before the bus got back for fitting of her below knee prosthesis. Her son was very helpful in translating everything for her and making sure he understood all the instructions to help her as she learns to use the prosthesis.

 Here we're talking about shifting her weight onto the prosthesis to help her learn to walk.

 The ladies who cook lunch for the patients on the patient days when they are picked up on the bus. We hire these ladies to cook each trip, so that patients have lunch while they wait on the porch of the clinic. 

 Joel also came by on Thursday for a check up. Caro saw him, got him new prosthetic supplies and checked the prosthesis for any needs for repair. It was great to see Joel and his great big smile!

No need for repair to Joel's prosthesis, but definitely a need to dump all the dirt out of the foot! All of the prosthetic patients we see back for follow up have tremendous wear on their prosthetic feet compared to what we're used to back home. Lots of dirt and the prosthetic feet simply do not last long in Zambia due to the amount of walking and terrain these people encounter. 

 Protashow took the lead on fitting Loveness with her below knee prosthesis. You can see my knee in the corner as I was on stand by if he needed any help. He's doing so well seeing patients independently as he continues to learn all aspects of patient care!

Here Protashow and I are talking about how to make an alignment adjustment to Loveness' prosthesis. I feel like I'm not a great teacher, so working with Protashow to teach him aspects of patient care and fabrication has been a growing experience for me as well.

Nico came for check up but needed a new prosthetic eye this trip. His eye socket had changes, so a new ocular prosthesis was made. John felt like he got a better fit this time for him.

Nico has been coming since 2014 to see John. He was very happy with his new ocular prosthesis this trip!

Kennedy came for fitting of his new prosthetic eye. This is his second ocular prosthesis. He needed a new one this year because he had grown so much. 

John checking light reflection on the ocular prosthesis to get both sides to match.

Ah, the happy smile when he saw his new eye in the mirror! I always love watching people's reactions when the look in the mirror.

This is Jennifer, who works at Children's Nest in Choma, and she is holding Susan, who has cerebral palsy. Susan had a pair of AFOs (ankle-foot-orthoses) that she has outgrown. Caro, who is involved with the Children's Nest ministry, had told them to bring Susan for fitting of a new pair of AFOs that we had brought and could be modified to fit her. 

Caro modifying one of the AFOs for Susan. We bring some pediatric AFOs with us to have on hand in case children are brought to the clinic who could benefit from them. We have found often times, parents do not know what a child's diagnosis is and only know that they cannot walk or cannot balance well to walk. They come in hopes that we have some answers for them. I find this difficult in that we can sometimes fit them with braces to help but it's kind of "treating the symptom" when there are a whole other myriad of things going on that are not being addressed due to the lack of specialty care or access to the care available. 

Jennifer did tell me that a neurologist is coming to Lusaka, which is fantastic news. There has not been specific care available for children with neurological involvement, consistently at least, in Zambia. I plan to be communicating with Jennifer more as she can pass along information, so that we can help direct other children to the care they need. 

 Susan was the absolute cutest little girl! Full of smiles and giggles as she walked with Caro wearing her new braces. 

Alvera came with several family members for fitting of her prosthesis. Her family was so excited for her to be walking with the prosthesis!

Protashow and I talking about the alignment of her prosthesis and changes that needed to be made. She came with a walker, which is how she was ambulating (with a lean on the walker and hop to get around). We gave her crutches to start out with but she was determined to walk without anything, and she did fantastic!

 This is Oswell. He had a work injury that caused him to lose his eye in January 2019 when a wire damaged his eye. Dr. Samuel at Macha eye clinic did the surgery. 

He was so pleased with the prosthetic eye! He spoke about how losing an eye is losing a part of one's body, and how that makes people feel. He was hopeful and joyous in how he felt we are using our skills to help people regain confidence in their appearance. It was a great testimony from him about his experience coming to see John!

Wednesday and Thursday were wonderful and busy days! Between just those two days, we had 10 prosthetic and orthotic patients at the clinic and 6 ocular patients. 

Friday and Saturday were our last two patient fitting days before leaving. Lots more patients to see!

Next post: Friday, April 26- Saturday, April 27: Final patient fittings and some check-ups

1 comment:

  1. Amazing Work Katie. God bless you and the whole group.