All in a Day’s (Charitable) Work
One of the perks of being a manufacturer of lower-extremity prosthetic products is the chance to assist charitable organizations dedicated to helping others return to a ‘normal’ life after becoming amputees. Along with organizations like Limbs for Life and Physicians for Peace, we’ve had the honor to assist individual clinicians devoting professional and personal time on mission trips to help amputees in under served areas of the world.
We recently had the pleasure of helping Chris Peregrine, CPO, from Teter O&P in Michigan, who participated in a medical mission trip in late 2011. Chris reached out to WillowWood and we provided several prosthetic feet for use in the prostheses he was crafting. Chris kindly shares his mission trip experience with us.
“Through WillowWood’s generosity, the support of additional sponsors, and staff at Teter O&P, Inc., I was able to provide lower extremity protheses to several amputees in the Dominican Republic recently. This effort restored independent ambulatory mobility to these folks who would otherwise not have had access to prosthetic services.
In October, 2011, I accompanied a team of northern Michigan physicians, surgeons, and supporting staff representing Midwest Medical Missions, Inc. on their annual trek to the Samaná peninsula in the Dominican Republic to serve the medical needs of the population in that region. During the course of that week, I evaluated over 40 amputees, and identified five promising cases given the venue and limited resources. Additionally, I was able to begin training a local Dominican orthopedic technician named German in prosthetic fundamentals.
I returned to my home in Traverse City, MI, where Teter O&P, Inc. is headquartered. Over the course of the fall, with the impressions and measurements I provided, the Teter technical staff fabricated the prosthetic sockets and completed assembling the devices using components donated from various sources, including WillowWood.
Several weeks ago, in early February, 2012, I returned to the hospital in Samaná where I had first met the prosthetic candidates. I was able to successfully fit all five amputees who I had previously evaluated. These folks were most appreciative and managed their new devices well, eventually departing their fitting sessions independently ambulatory. The return trip was also an opportunity to continue to orient the local orthopedic technician, German, in prosthetic fundamentals as he was able to observe and be involved with these successful fittings.
It was a great privilege and pleasure to assist these neighbors to our south. With my partners at Teter O&P, Inc., and aided by my friend German’s presence on-site, I look forward to orchestrating an ongoing program on the Samaná peninsula in the Dominican Republic.
Thanks again to WillowWood for your generous donations which, in large part, made this successful initiative possible.”