Foundation for prosthetics in Bolivia

This is the charity we are going to be spending 9 months volunteering with:- 

It is a charity that supports low income Bolivian people who have lost a limb and may not be able to afford a prosthesis. The charity caters for upper and lower limb prosthetics and has a workshop on the clinic grounds where they assess, measure, make and fit the prosthetics for all suitable patients as possible. 

Obviously this charity relies on donations and voluntary work from people across the world so if you felt you would want to donate details can be found on their web address above. 

We will be updating this page once we get there so will be able to fill in lots more details as we learn with them. 

Today we met Samual a 6yo super cutie who was born with a congenital leg deformity requiring him to require a prosthetic leg to be able to walk ‘normally’. He has been coming to the clinic since he began walking and took his first steps as a 2yo in the clinic. Today he came in for a re-measure as he is obviously growing so quite quickly outgrows his prosthesis. 

We were playing football with him in his new prosthesis to make sure it fits well enough for him to run around at school. 

Update so far on our volunteering positions within the charity. I have brought a ppam aid over which is a temporary limb which can be worn by most above or below knee amputees as it is fully adjustable. It consists of a metal cage with a rocker bottom ‘foot’ and two inflatable bags one worn over the stump and one inside the metal cage. The bags are then both fully inflated so they fully support the stump with air so the patient can start to walk as soon as their wound has healed. 

So far I have used it with two BK pts who both got on really well. One is so keen to practise I can’t hardly get it off him! Today he walked forwards/backwards/sideways and did standing balance and throwing/catching balance. 

So much going on at Funprobo just getting around to writing about it! We have had lots of patients from the disability rally coming into the clinic. We have had the ‘share a dream’ boys visit us and do a week of videoing and information gathering to aim to send a new prosthetic student to university for the clinic. 

And amongst all this we’ve been providing around 3 prostheses a week for some wonderful patients from all over the country.

The ppam aid is getting lots of use and Friday I managed to get a wheelchair dependent guy (who lost his left leg below the knee, his right arm at the shoulder joint, and half of his right foot in an electrical work accident) up and walking for the first time since his accident in the ppam aid in the parallel bars! Huge achievement for him and a career achievement for me!! 

Now we need to make him a leg for the left side and an orthosis for the right side and see if his life can be changed. Exciting times. 

Update: Juan left the clinic a week later taking a few steps indecently on a BK prosthesis and orthosis grace and I made ourselves. He has some work to do when he gets home but for now has the biggest smile and so much hope!

Recently we’ve had lots of excitement with our 3D printer. Tom has managed to print a whole functional hand for two patients in the last two weeks! 

Also this week I’ve been lucky enough to work with Fabricio, the happiest smiliest 18month old! His mum doesn’t want his face shown all over the internet so you’ll have to take it from me just how gorgeous he is! In a week he went from standing in his first static leg, to furniture walking and sitting and standing in an articulated hip on his own! I’m too proud of him! 

August has been pretty busy! This month met my fest bilat BK amputee. He had a car crash and lost both legs below the knees and has been in a wheelchair since then. Hugely motivated man with positivity and motivation in mountains! Had been keeping himself fit and strong since the accident so I didn’t need to give him any extra work to do. Florencio managed to make him two complete prosthetics inc aesthetic cover in 2 days! He got straight up and on the prosthetics and was walking outside within 15mins, climbed the stairs after 30mins then went out for lunch wearing his two new prosthetics. Incredible! 

October has seen the arrival of an amazing group of young people. We had the whirlwind of Yanina 18yrs old, the shyness of Richard 21yrs old, the strength of mind of Marco 23yrs old and the thoughtfulness of Mery 24yrs old. Put them all together and we’ve had a mad 2 weeks here! They have all worn the ppam aid one after the other, after the other, after the other!

Then as soon as the prosthesis legs were made (4 AK legs in 2 days! Florencio is a legend!) they were off. Each supporting the other, all wanting to walk the same distances, try the same exercises, do the same steps etc. We were in a mad house for two weeks! 

During that time we did laps round the block (stopping for an ice cream each time), we step up obstacle courses consisting of steps, grids, bars to climb over, ramp and stair practise. We had a volley ball tournament starting with girls vs girls and boys vs boys culminating in a team of 4 against 4 with a full net, referee and scoring sheet! 

With a lot of hard work and some emotional moments all our ‘kids’ left happy and ‘con ganas’ to achieve their dreams. An amazing thing to be a part of and I’ll not forget these guys or this experience I’ve shared with them.