With parts and materials at hand what else could we do but set to work. Today, was yet again a near perfect day in terms of what we wanted to get accomplished and what actually got done.
Our prosthetic group split up into teams. Abbey and Taber set to work casting and molding the Below-Knee Amputees. I partnered up with Melissa, while Al, Esteban and Danielle banded together to tackle the above knee amputees as well as some of the challenging and unique cases.
It really was great team work. By the end of today, some 45 patients have been fit and/or molded for their prosthesis. We had a few patients that have not shown up, but a few drop-ins have also been added and tended to.
Tomorrow, we will continue with the fittings. The fiberglass needs to set for a decent period of time before it is ready for real use. Others we will firm up part assignments,...feet, knees and assess appropriate height,...etc
We have a new PT with us this year, John Paholski. (Is that Polish? He didn't bring a car door.) He and another of our resident PTs, Pat Black have what I call mad, black magic, voodoo, PT powers. They osmose and meld into the fabric of the Peruvian PTs in a natural and easy way. According to John, they have been very well received by the PTs of Carrion; participating in Evaluations and treatments for a welcomed unique perspective and education that they would not have otherwise been exposed to.
Speaking with John tonight, one of the pleasant surprises for him has been the Peruvian people. He saw the patients of ours that arrived at 8am and did not get seen until 5pm. At 5pm when their name was called, they hollered back with extreme enthusiasm. "Rosita?!!!! I here....I coming!!!!". They came into the room. They hugged each and every person there and seemed genuinely happy with everything. They were extremely grateful for what they received.
John commented as many of us have, that we know patients in the States that get upset if they are seen 10min. late. 9 hrs seems to be pushing the limits...? Maybe....
I am anticipating another great day tomorrow. Our Physical Therapy and Prosthetic powers will finally join forces as we begin to fit and align many of our patients. Talk about empowering human potential. This is where the bar is set and raised. Some of these people have been amputees for years and never walked without crutches or a wheelchair.
Tomorrow potential will end and kinetic will begin as these people become armed with the ability to empower others in the same way our new amigo Jonathan is preparing to do in rehabilitation. I am so excited to see what that energy will be. It will start like a spark when they take their first few steps. For some it shows up as a glimmer in their eyes as they realize a new found freedom and ability that sees for the first time a light at the end of a long dark tunnel of uncertainty. Walking is just one step of many.
Hasta manana, mis amigos