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Posts Tagged ‘Haitian prosthetic technician’

DENVER, Aug. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Team Zaryen, Port-au-Prince’s amputee soccer team, will tour the United States this fall, running soccer clinics for wounded members of the U.S. military and focusing attention on the great strides being made by those with disabilities in Haiti.

The tour will be co-sponsored by the Knights of Columbus and Project Medishare, who co-founded “Healing Haiti’s Children” – a program that has made prosthetics available to every child who lost a limb in last year’s earthquake in Port-au-Prince. All of the players on Team Zaryen have received prosthetics courtesy of this program. The earthquake in Haiti last year left thousands of amputees in its wake – many of them children and young adults.

The team and its U.S. tour are some of many positive results to have come from the “Healing Haiti’s Children” program. The program makes a multi-year course of prosthetic care and physical therapy available to every child who lost a limb as a result of the earthquake. Included in the rehabilitation is the “Return to Sport” program where Team Zaryen coaches children and youth in this fast-paced sport so that they too can enjoy the fun and excitement of sport and learn to lead normal lives.

The Knights of Columbus have committed more than $1 million to the “Healing Haiti’s Children” program through Project Medishare, which runs the premier hospital for amputees in Haiti.

“The Knights of Columbus is honored to be able to be able to help transform the lives of children and young people in Haiti and to bring healing and hope to some of the neediest people in our hemisphere,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “We are very happy to have the members of Team Zaryen, who have overcome so much, with us at our convention.”

“Following the earthquake, there was a tremendous outpouring of support from the people of the United States, much of it coordinated by America’s armed forces,” said Dr. Bob Gailey, director of rehabilitation services for Project Medishare. “Team Zaryen is now looking to return the favor by running clinics for wounded American service members this fall in the United States, and we are honored to be working together with the Knights of Columbus to assist these young people in Haiti and to be providing these clinics for the U.S. military.”

A key reason for forming the soccer team was to change attitudes in Haiti and to help remove the negative stigma associated with being an amputee in Haitian society. The members of Team Zaryen believe their example will prove to the youth of their nation that despite any handicap, there are no limits to what an individual, a team, or a nation can achieve.

Project Medishare for Haiti was founded in 1994 by Drs. Barth Green and Arthur Fournier when they assembled the first team of faculty from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Nursing to assess the health status of Haitians and explore ways of rebuilding their healthcare infrastructure in a long term and meaningful way.

The Knights of Columbus is the world’s largest lay Catholic organization, with more than 1.8 million members around the world. Last year they donated more than $154 million to charity and donated more than 70 million volunteer hours to charitable causes.

Representatives from Team Zaryen with Jason Miller & Dr. Bob Gailey, Director of Rehabilitation Services for Project Medishare, at the Knights of Columbus 129th annual Supreme Convention in Denver, CO.

Special thanks to Perry Ellis for outfitting Team Zaryen for the US tour!

This article can be found on the PRNewswire by clicking here!

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Wilfred Macena

Twenty-six year old Wilfred Macena was at work welding in a shop when the catastrophic earthquake hit Haiti in January 2010. Like so many others, Wilfred was trapped under the rubble. He was able to free himself but not without escaping injury. Wilfred damaged his right leg when it was crushed by falling debris.

Wilfred stayed at home with his injured leg for three days before finally getting to Adventist Hospital. He waited at Adventist Hospital for four days but ended up leaving out of frustration as he was never seen by a doctor and went to the neighboring Dominican Republic. Seven days after being injured in the earthquake, Wilfred had an above the knee amputation on his right leg in the Dominican Republic. At first he was very hesitant about the procedure. He asked the doctor what his prognosis would be following the amputation and was told that he would be able to walk again with a prosthetic leg which made him feel comfortable with the procedure.

On April 1, 2010, Wilfred went to the Project Medishare field hospital to have his leg fitted for a prosthetic. Upon his return to the hospital on April 3, the staff explained to Wilfred how to walk with the prosthetic and within five minutes he was up and running! Dr. Barth A. Green, co-founder of Project Medishare, was in the tent and asked Wilfred if he wanted a job with Project Medishare. Wilfred currently works in the Prosthetics and Orthotics laboratory and clinic at the Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare. He takes measurements for prosthetic limbs and knows how to fix them. He has learned how to speak and understand English while working for Project Medishare. Wilfred is also a mentor to anyone that is facing amputation and for those being fitted for prosthetics. He is the perfect example that life does go on even after amputation and is a constant source of encouragement and inspiration. He is playing soccer again with the Project Medishare Team Zaryen Amputee Soccer team. He has a one and a half year old and is expecting his second child in July.

Wilfred’s spirit is incomparable. It takes two hours to get from his tent home to work every day by taking three tap taps. He repeats the same long, treacherous trip to get home each night. He says that he is extremely grateful to Project Medishare because if he did not work there he would not be able to work as he lost everything, including his welding tools, in the earthquake. It is fair to say that the feeling is mutual; Project Medishare is very grateful to have Wilfred as part of our team.

Wilfred Macena at work in the Prosthetics and Orthotics laboratory and clinic at the Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare

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By Jennifer Browning

Last week, Project Medishare’s rehabilitation coordinator Dr. Robert Gailey and prosthetist Adam

Last week, amputee patients began getting fitted for prosthetic legs. Patients who have lost everything in life can now be given a chance to survive and begin their life again. Photo by Michael Trainer.

Finnieston flew to Project Medishare’s field hospital in Port-au-Prince to begin fitting prosthetic legs to amputee patients.

Dr. Gailey said that starting next week, a Certified Prothestists Orthotists (CPO) will be sent down to the field hospital every week to fit patients.

Weeks after the earthquake Project Medishare purchased 500 artificial legs. University of Miami’s Dr. Gailey and prosthetist Adam Finnieston, flew to Port-au-Prince last week with 25 of the prosthetic legs and Finnieston’s company’s Biosculptor System to begin fitting  amputee patients. The system uses technology that uses a portable scanner to transmit 3-D images of residual limbs to the prosthetic factory in Hialeah, Fla. to create custom-fit sockets for them.

The system is already being taught to one Haitian prosthetic technician who has already fitted two people. In the future, more local technicians will be trained.

“If we teach them to care for themselves,” Dr. Gailey said in a Miami-Herald article last week, “they can become an independent nation.”

Violette currently uses a walker as she begins therapy to learn to use her new prosthetic leg. She understands that her new leg brings hours of strenuous physical therapy, but for the first time since the earthquake she feels there is hope. Photo by Michael Trainer.

Last week we told you of the story of Violette. We told you how she came to Project Medishare’s hospital, and how she learned about the prosthetic leg she would be receiving. At the end of last week, Violette was fitted with her new leg, and today she continues her physical therapy to learn to use it.

“I feel very happy about the prosthetic leg,” Violette said. “I’m not use to it yet, but I’m sure with time I will get better, and I will become a normal person.”

Violette said that when she was first fitted with the leg, she said her leg felt hot and it took her a while to get used to it.

“I had a sensation of heat in the leg, but now it’s getting better,” Violette said. “Maybe I won’t be able to do all I use to do before, but I’m sure that my life will be better now.”

Project Medishare is keeping our promise to stick by Haiti through this trying time. While there is progress being made for our patients like Violette, we continue to need support. Three months from the earthquake, there is less media attention and donations are down. Please click here to donate to Project Medishare’s Earthquake Relief Fund today to continue assisting amputee patients like Violette.

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