By Jennifer Browning
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti—Physical therapist, Jana Koch reaches her arms out towards her patient offering to help her patient stand up.
“They need to be mobilized as soon as possible, ” Koch said, “in order to help them get back on their feet again.”
Koch is a physical therapist out of Louisville, Ky. She is here to help Project Medishare/UM Global Institute patients recover. Getting her patients to walk around not only helps keep muscles functioning properly, but also keeps them from getting other illnesses like pneumonia.
Those who are suffering from fractures or broken bones, do their therapy with the assistance of crutches, while others get assistance from therapists and support staff and the use of a walker.
“A lot of the people here can’t put their weight on their leg, so we teach them how to walk without putting pressure on their injury,” Koch said. “It’ s not good for their joints or muscles to just lay in bed.”
Koch came down with a group of doctors looking to volunteer. They visited several clinics in the area, but found the Project Medishare/UM Global Institute hospital was more organized. She said her team arrived with three orthopedic surgeons. They checked in and were approved with credentials almost immediately. Ten minutes later they were at their positions, tending to earthquake victims.