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Posts Tagged ‘prosthetist Adam Finnieston’

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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In the video above, pediatrician Dr. Tanya Lam discusses how a prosthetic limb will help Michaelle live a normal life living in Port-au-Prince.

By Jennifer Browning

As she hops along the isle of the pediatric ward with her walker, fourteen-year-old Michaelle greets everyone with an ear-to-ear smile. She has such great energy and attitude, that you barely notice her left leg is missing.

Michaelle’s injury was not earthquake related. Before the quake she had surgery for her Spina bifida, which allowed her to be able to walk. However, her condition still left her with no feeling in her feet. As Michaelle’s feet would drag along Port-au-Prince’s terrain–now even more treacherous than before– she developed wounds on both feet which became infected. Michaelle’s left leg was much worse off than the right, so orthopedic surgeons at Project Medishare’s hospital chose to monitor the right leg for a while instead of immediately amputating both.

“Unfortunately she isn’t able to ambulate,” Dr. Andy Brief, a volunteer orthopedic surgeon from New Jersey said. “Because of her neurological condition she can’t have the feeling of sensation in her feet so she developed a contractable infection and will likely need both legs amputated.”

For now orthopedic doctors have already made plans for Michaelle to receive a prosthetic limb for her left leg to get her more mobile.

“She is young and otherwise healthy,” Dr. Brief said. “The future for someone who can be fit with an appropriate prosthetic is bright. She can live a normal functional life a long as she is met with the right rehabilitation and prosthetic.”

Michaelle, 14, uses a walker to help her do her physical therapy. Prosthetic limbs have started arriving at Project Medishare's field hospital in Haiti, and children like Michaelle will get a new lease on living a normal life. Photo by Jennifer Browning.

Doctors in the pediatric ward said that it took much effort to convince Michaelle’s mother that the left leg needed to be amputated below the knee in order to save the young girl’s life.Through interpreters, psychiatrists, orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists and social workers, Michaelle’s mother agreed to the surgery.

“Initially, her mother reacted very poorly. It was an option she wouldn’t consider, but over the course of 24 hours, because of everyone’s help we were able to convince her that an appropriate start would be to serve her left leg and deal with her right leg in the near the future.”

Michaelle’s mother, Kaya, said that at first she was fearful of the doctors taking her daughter’s leg.

“My daughter after the surgery began to walk. Not well, but she could walk. I thought, how would she walk without a leg,” Kiouska said. “But then I realized that my daughter may not live because her leg was infected, and doctors told me about this fake leg that could help her walk. I feel better that her other leg has a chance and may not need to be taken.”

Dr. Brief said if doctors do have to take Michaelle’s right leg, that her life would continue, but that she would need two prosthetic legs.

Michaelle’s amputation is a below the knee amputation. Because of this, should Michaelle need an amputation on her right leg, a normal life would still be possible because the amputation would be below the knee.

“People have run marathons with bilateral below knee prosthetics,” he said. “I am not saying that is in her future because of her neurological injury, but she should have a normal functioning gate pattern if and when she is fitted with the proper prosthetic.”

Volunteer physical therapists said that Michaelle is doing well with her rehabilitation exercises.

Last week, Project Medishare’s rehabilitation coordinator Dr. Robert Gailey from the University of Miami and prosthetist Adam Finnieston flew to Project Medishare’s field hospital in Port-au-Prince to begin fitting prosthetic legs to our amputee patients. Patients like Michaelle, who once saw a grim future will be able to have a chance at a more normal life.

Michaelle has a tough road ahead still. She still needs to be fitted with her prosthetic leg. The new leg will bring with it hours of difficult physical therapy and rehabilitation as she learns how to walk on it. But the spirit of this young girl will be enough to take on those challenges.

Please click here to donate to Project Medishare’s Earthquake Relief Fund today to continue assisting amputee patients like Michaelle.

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By Jennifer Browning

She woke up in darkness, with rubble all around her. She could hear others talking and just below her a baby was crying. The last thing she remembers was putting on her clothes after a shower the day that the earth ruptured Port-au-Prince

Twenty-seven year-old Violette Saint Germaine’s four-story building had collapsed around her.

Soon after she could hear neighbors asking where she was located in the rubble. Slowly, piece by piece little specks of light appeared from several flashlights above. She was found. But there was a problem. A large piece of cement pinned her inside the rubble that used to be her home. Her rescuers tried for hours to remove the large debris to free her, but it was too heavy. Her neighbor went off in search for help to find someone…..something to free Violette.

Night fell and she laid there in darkness. She knew something must be wrong because she couldn’t feel her leg below her knee. She began to sing church hymns.

“I sang to pass the time and sang to God to make it better,” Violette said. “I sang to God to bring someone to help me.”

Violette sang for four more days before her neighbors could find someone to move heavy concrete that kept her a prisoner in the rubble.

She arrived at a hospital clinic in Delmas, where doctors treated her for a crushed leg. In the early weeks, doctors felt that they could save her leg, but two weeks ago her injury worsened. She was sent to the Project Medishare Hospital where doctors determined serious infection had set in and a portion of her leg would need to be amputated.

As she woke from the anesthesia, she wondered how she would support herself and her mother. How would she continue to carry her fruit to sell at the market if she could not walk?

“I wondered what can I do? How will my family live if I cannot work?” she said.

Three weeks ago a doctor stopped by Violette’s cot in the adult ward. He showed her a prosethetic leg and explained how this might help her live a more normal life.

“It gave me hope,” Violette said. “With this the doctor said I could walk and in time go back to the market to earn money so that my mother and I can live.”

Weeks after the earthquake Project Medishare purchased 500 artificial legs to help people like Violette. University of Miami’s Dr. Robert Gailey and prosthetist Adam Finnieston, flew to Port-au-Prince with 25 of the prosthetic legs to begin fitting  amputee patients.

They plan to test the Finnieston’s company’s BioSculptor system. 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 plan is to eventually teach the system to Haitian prosthetic technicians.

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

Project Medishare is keeping our promise to stick by Haiti through this trying time. While there is progress being made for our patients, we still have a long road to go which means we still need your support.

Please click here to donate to Project Medishare’s Earthquake Relief Fund today to continue assisting amputee patients like Violette.

Click here to read the full article in the Miami-Herald.

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