Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Grateful Patients Receive Care in Haiti

The morning session started at 7:30 a.m. at the Hanger clinic where patients with scheduled appointments returned to be fitted with their prosthesis. At this time proper fit and comfort of the prosthesis is assessed and adjustments are made.

If fitting is acceptable physical therapy is initiated, with patients wearing their prosthesis. Therapy includes but is not exclusive to gait training with crutches and parallel bars, but also muscle conditioning. At the end of the session instructions are given for exercises to be done at home. We had approximately 17 patients in the morning session that went from 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

During this time we had a 4-year-old boy who kept saying "I can walk, I can walk," as he reluctantly put his crutches aside and took his first two steps. Did he fall? Indeed he did, but he got himself up and took a few more steps until he was able to take as many steps as he needed to grab onto his mom's legs without falling.

During the afternoon we spent a few hours at L'Escale. L'Escale, if you remember is the location of the dormitories where the patients with amputations live while they await the completion of the construction of their prosthesis. Here they also initiate muscle conditioning and physical therapy. At L'Escale we evaluated, and did physical therapy on three patients. One was a 15-year-old girl with pelvic and femur fracture sustained in the earthquake.

Another, Mrs. T, is a woman in her mid-fifties with spinal cord injury at thoracic level (T5). She is now a paraplegic and requires much assistance in caring for herself as well as specific directions on how to move herself about in bed and to and from her wheelchair. Sooner rather than later Mrs. T will require transfer to a temporary rehab center for further rehabilitation. This will be a challenge as the only one potential institution has no available resources. Through discussion with the interpreter from the patient and her family, Mrs. T was apparently sent to an other facility for care but rerouted herself to Hôpital Albert Schweitzer(HAS) because they felt care at HAS would be much better, than anywhere else.

The third patient, a 69-year-old woman suffered a right-sided stroke, with some expressive aphasia (difficulty speaking). After physical therapy the patient's husband expressed his sincerest thanks to us by saying that he was glad that they came to HAS for care and wished that we could come and do exercises with his wife everyday.

Amongst the team we agreed that we would make this happen.

Thanks for reading-Project HOPE volunteer, Joy Williams

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1 comment:

  1. Hi Joy,

    Keep up the good work. You are in our prayers!

    Love, Donna