Monday, April 5, 2010

Standing on Her Own Legs

Unbelievable that it's Friday already. It seems like the week had just gotten started.

It was an exciting day as I was given the name of a cousin for V.C., a patient I talked about in yesterday's blog. The news was given to her, but she appeared unimpressed. I wonder what's up? This is definitely not the reaction I was expecting. Now where do I go from here? Maybe our new psychologist could help shed some light on this. I should probably have her chat with V.C. before her discharge process is completed and she is sent to live with her cousin.

Most of the afternoon was spent measuring, casting and building prosthesis for a 22-year-old above the knee amputee. D.J., who is from Port-au-Prince is presently residing at L'Escale. She has an emergent desire to receive her prosthesis. You see, her dad is arriving from America on Saturday, and she desperately wants to meet him at the airport standing on her legs without the support of crutches.

Needless to say, she cared little about the length of time she had to sit and wait for its completion, even with the prospect of missing lunch and probably dinner. The technicians and the rest of the staff shared her desire and we had no objection to spending more time working on her prosthesis.

When I left for our first team meeting at 1700 it was just about completed. The finishing touches were being made, and the much coveted cover was being placed on her prosthesis. I wish I could be at the airport, and from a distance, observe the first glance and embrace between daughter and father since the fatal earthquake that shook Haiti just a short while ago.

Our first team meeting was initiated this evening at 1700. It included the prosthetist, physical therapist interpreter, the overseer at L'Escale, the head of the hospital, case manager and the coordinator of the prosthetic department.

We planned the structural layout and the workflow of the patients through the clinic. We also discussed the need for continued professional personnel to staff the clinic, personnel who would also initiate the training of Haitians to become physical therapists, prosthetists and case managers. They would be trained to assume the roles we now hold.

So much was accomplished. We are now ready to begin the next phase of our operation -
executing what was discussed. We are very, very excited about our progress.

Thanks for reading-Project HOPE volunteer Joy Williams

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