Archive for the ‘Prosthetic Program’ Category

Earlier this month members from the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF), who sponsors Project Medishare’s amputee soccer team, traveled to Haiti to launch their “Return to Sports” program in partnership with Project Medishare and the Knights of Columbus. The goal of the new program was to use sports to heal the proud and resilient people of Haiti.

During their visit CAF operated their first international running clinic led by University of Miami’s Bob Gailey, PhD, PT and Ossur clinical prosthetist Peter Harsch.

During the same weekend, Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare unveiled its new prosthetic lab which was made possible through the partnerships with Ossur and Knights of Columbus.

Watch the video above or view it here on YouTube to see how these partnerships are inspiring amputee patients in Haiti.

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More than a year later, the children injured in the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti have renewed hope thanks to Project Medishare for Haiti partners, the Knights of Columbus, Ossur, and the Challenged Athletes Foundation.

On March 5, the Knights of Columbus unveiled their latest effort to help Haitian children injured in last year’s earthquake, with the opening of a state-of-the-art prosthetics and rehabilitation center at Bernard Mevs Project Medishare Hospital.

The Össur International Prosthetics and Orthotics Laboratory is the result of the Knights’ partnership with the Iceland-based Össur company – a leading prosthetics manufacturer – and the medical charity Project Medishare. The Challenged Athletes Foundation will also begin offering their assistance in rehabilitating the child amputees.

At the ribbon-cutting and grand opening ceremony on Saturday, March 5, prosthetics company’s founder Össur Kristinsson, also an amputee, presented more than 600 modular prosthetic systems for use by Project Medishare in the “Healing Haiti’s Children” program.

A joint project of the Knights of Columbus and Project Medishare, the program offers prosthetic limbs and rehabilitation to every child injured in the earthquake that devastated Haiti in January 2010.

More than 100 child amputees have already received help and rehabilitation since the program began in the summer of 2010. Each of the children receives a two-year course of free prosthetics and physical therapy.

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Certified prosthetic orthotist (CPO) Davor Krchelich fits a patient with a prosthetic arm in the Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare (HBMPM) posthetic lab. Photo courtesy of Davor Krchelich.

By Jennifer Browning

Last week, Evelyn, a below-the-elbow amputee, walked into certified prosthetic orthotist (CPO) Davor Krchelich’s lab at Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare.

“She came in needing a prosthetic arm,” Davor said. “I began to explain to her that there were two types of prosthetics we could do for her. One type is only for aesthetic purposes, it will look like you have an arm, but it will do nothing. The other was a below-elbow functioning prosthetic and it looks like something out of terminator.”

Davor walked Evelyn over to his computer and showed her the two types of arms she could choose, but he was fearful that she might rush into a decision.

“I told her to wait a week and then make her decision,” he said.

A week later, Evelyn was back in Davor’s lab. She wanted the functioning prosthetic.

“I didn’t think I would see her again,” he said. “I was so surprised that she came back but also that she wanted the other prosthetic because to some it can look really scary.”

So far, Project Medishare has only been fitting prosthetic legs, but now, Davor said that he is getting closer to be able to fit some upper extremity amputees too.

In order to fit Evelyn, Davor had to meet up with prosthetist Adam Finnieston at a meeting in Orlando. Davor then contacted Evelyn that it was time to fit her for her new arm.

Upon fitting and securing the harness required for the prosthetic, Davor said Evelyn quickly picked up how to use the gripping mechanism, which allows her to pick up items.

“Usually it takes time and you have to really work with the patient to teach them that the movement of one shoulder will move {the gripper],” Davor said. “But this patient instantly began to understand how this worked.”

According to Davor, Project Medishare is the only organization in Haiti who is fitting prosthetic arms. The problem he said is that the majority of patients have upper-elbow amputations, and currently, this type of prosthetic isn’t available.

There is also the issue of funding to purchase the prosthetic arms, and at the moment he has two patients waiting to be fit. Davor said while he is so thankful for the Knights of Columbus who have donated $1 million dollars to the prosthetic program, that money is reserved for fitting children with prosthetic legs. Currently, there is no specific funding for prosthetic arms.

If you would like to contribute to Project Medishare’s prosthetic program, click here to make an online donation today.

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