"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)

Tuesday, Sept. 17: Patients from the Macha area

Tuesday started with our team splitting up to go screen patients who were meeting at the Macha radio station and to go get the clinic set up and receive any patients who arrived directly at the clinic. Traci and I went with Protashow to the Macha radio station, which takes about 45 minutes to get to from New Day Orphanage down a very bumpy road (the same road to get to the Macha Hospital...I can't even imagine traveling down that road if you were needing to get to the hospital quickly.)

The market area outside of the radio station in Macha. Everything is so dry in the midst of a historic drought! 

The Macha radio station where we tell patients to meet for screening. We have noticed this year, April and this September trip, that more patients from the Macha area and near New Day are coming directly to the clinic now or are closer to the main road. This is great that we have consistent patients coming for follow up each time, and we can plan to change our pick up patient location in the future to make it easier for patients and us on our schedule. 

Meanwhile at the clinic, Andy, Graham and Amanda were able to start getting things set up and started seeing the patients who were arriving directly to the clinic. 

Clyness came for check up and some adjustments to her prosthesis with new supplies. It was so good to see her! She was fit in April with an above knee prosthesis after elective amputation at Beit Cure Hospital in Lusaka due to a chronic infection in her leg. We have been seeing her since April 2017 and got in contact with Beit Cure about her having a revision amputation. Clyness and her family have trusted us along the way, and we are grateful for the opportunity to continue providing her with prosthetic care.

Melvin came for check up and new supplies. Here we're talking about how the prosthetic knee functions. 

Graham was helping us along the way with all the repairs. Such nice teamwork this trip with practitioners, Graham as a technician and Amanda as a physical therapist. It was the whole team approach all together in the same clinic! I really can't emphasize enough how awesome it is to have a group of people who don't work together every day (and also some who just met each other) come together to be such an amazing team! 

Traci and Protashow working on repairs in the center area of the clinic. The doorways you see are to the patient rooms. We had all 3 patient rooms on that side of the clinic in use this trip with 3 practitioners. Protashow worked along side us as he continues to learn and develop skills. It was great that he had so many different people to learn from during this trip.

Traci fitting Mweetwa with a new liner. He needed new supplies this time.

Papa Wes came by the clinic to check out the activity. On patient days, between all the patients, us as team members and New Day staff that comes up to the clinic to help with translating, taking pictures and overall assisting where they can, it's quite the happening place to be. 

Preparation of lunch outside the clinic. Each patient day during our trips, we hire several ladies to cook a meal for the patients who wait on the porch to be seen. I love that we can do this. These ladies do such a wonderful job cooking and serving the patients each a plate of food. We appreciate them being part of this ministry in preparing food. 

We were talking in recap during our travel back about how the group of patients waiting on the porch ends up being a sort of amputee support group in a way. And I feel like the addition of a meal really rounds out the sense of community and communion with each other. Many of these patients come each trip to be seen for check up and get to see each other at the clinic. They don't all live in the same area, so it's a chance to see each other again for them, as well as us. This is what it's all about....not just giving people a prosthesis but establishing relationships, investing in the lives of others with the talents God has given us. We certainly aren't getting it "right" all the time, but we pray that what we are doing through the ministry of Prosthetic Promises is touching lives and showing others the love of Christ that we know. 

Protashow casting Moomba for a left below knee prosthesis. In April, we fit Moomba with a right below knee prosthesis, and he has since had a left side amputation as well.

Killion came for check up. He needed a new prosthesis this time since the socket didn't fit well after having it for quite some time. We've been seeing him since 2014.

This mother brought her infant to the clinic due to contractures of her fingers. She's about a month old with finger contractures on both hands. Traci and Amanda evaluated her and advised the mother on stretching and to seek further medical advice on cause and treatment. This is an example of the sometimes difficult cases we see at the clinic. Many times we have people come for medical help that is outside our scope of practice. It's often a difficult conversation to have (through a translator most times) that we are unable to help them. We've seen that so many times there are many unanswered questions on diagnosis, or proper diagnosis, of medical conditions with often times inability to fully treat the condition or disease with the medical care available in Zambia.

Nurse Carol and Fostina bringing up a picnic lunch for the team. Fostina cooks for our team during our stay at New Day and wow, she is a great cook! (My favorites are her chicken pot pie, lasagna and potato salad😊) On patient days at the clinic, Fostina packs a picnic lunch to bring up to us so that we can continue working and just stop for a quick bite in the midst of seeing all the patients. 


Here's a great example of how the prosthetic feet wear out or fail. This foot was fit on Trywell in April 2018. He got a new prosthesis this trip---he had outgrown his socket (he's 17 years old), the foot and knee both were broken. He has wired the foot pieces together to keep them in the prosthetic foot shell, but I'm really amazed that it all stayed together for him to keep walking.

Joel came for check up and new prosthetic supplies. He's so fun to see each trip! Always a huge smile on his face. We've been seeing him since 2014. 

Here's Joel on the front porch checking his phone. It's a bit odd for us from the U.S. to see people who walk for their main mode of transportation or are riding in an oxen cart to take maize to the grinding mill and be talking on a cell phone. But with most people having cell phones in Zambia, it's such an advantage to connect people who can't easily travel far.  It also makes it easier for us to contact patients or they contact Protashow when needing to be seen at the clinic for a new prosthesis or repair to their existing one. Only problem we run into is that people seem to change their phone numbers fairly often, so we can't get in touch with some people.

Traci helped Munsanda with a repair to her prosthesis for a foot that was loose and not staying secured. She also got new prosthetic supplies and shoes. 

The storage room with bins of shoes. Thank you to everyone who has donated shoes for PPIHN! With 57 patients total this trip, we've again diminished our shoes supply. We're good on pediatric shoes, but if you have adult shoes size 9 or larger (men's and women's) that you would like to donate, please get in touch with us. It's so important to have a shoe on the prosthetic foot to protect the foot from excessive wear and to make the prosthesis function properly with correct alignment. 

On Tuesday, we saw 12 patients total at the clinic. It was a busy start to our trip, and we knew that Wednesday would be even busier with patients from Choma. 

Next post: Wednesday, Sept. 18: Patients from the Choma area 

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