Kent Daphinis

photo 2Outside of the Mobility Outreach International workshop in Cap-Haitien, Haiti there is a large shade tree. Young adults from the nearby trade school congregate under this shade tree to escape the hot afternoon sun. Sometimes they will interact with the prosthetic and orthotic (P&O) technicians or patients from the workshop. One such young man noticed a boy being treated for a varus knee deformity (commonly known as bowed-legs) through the use of corrective braces. Orthotic braces fitted by Mobility Outreach International P&O technicians were being worn to help gradually straighten the boy’s legs.

The young man was interested in the treatment because he knew someone in his neighborhood, Kent, suffering from the same condition. After speaking with a technician to make sure something could be done for Kent,photo 3 this young man went to Kent’s mother. Kent and his mother recently visited the Cap-Haitien workshop where Kent received a corrective brace.

Thanks to Mobility Outreach International’s involvement in the community and word of mouth, yet another patient is receiving care. Thank you for your support in bringing hope and healing to these communities.

Arielle Petit

“Bonjour,” Arielle said shyly, greeting me as I entered her home. Her braids were fastened with colorful barrettes and she wore a pink outfit. Like many 10 year old girls her age, Arielle told me that she liked to watch television and play with her friends. However, Arielle’s story is not like most young girls.

When Arielle was five years old and attending school in Port-Au-Prince, her leg was crushed and had to be amputated when a school building collapsed on her during the devastating earthquake of 2010. Shortly after the earthquake, Arielle’s family moved to a rural town outside of Cap Haitien to escape the place where such a trauma took place, and try to rebuild their lives. It was through Mobility Outreach International’s outreach efforts that Arielle learned that she could get a prosthetic leg.

It was November 2014, when I watched Arielle as she skipped across the street; her mobility restored. Her mother told me that Arielle has to take a $4 taxi ride and walk a mile uphill through crowded streets to get to school every day. Without her prosthetic limb, she would not be able to make this daily trek, nor would she be able to attend school.

Arielle’s resilient spirit touched my heart. As I left her home, I asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up. Her big brown eyes lit up, and she exclaimed, “I want to be a nurse.”

It is because of your generosity that Arielle has regained her mobility and now believes that anything is possible. Thank you for joining our community of supporters working together to change the world.

Ca Van Tien

Ca Van Tien was born in 2007 in the mountainous region of Northwest Vietnam with both of his feet turned inward and upward.  Panicked, his parents, Ca Van Le and Ca Van Hoa, took their infant to the community health clinic and prepared for the news that their son would never be able to walk.  Had Ca Van Tien been born a year earlier, the clinic nurses would have given them such news.  However, the clinic staff had recently learned how to diagnose a congenital condition, called clubfoot, and that a non-surgical clubfoot treatment program was being piloted that year at the provincial hospital.  Recognizing that Ca Van Tien was born with bilateral clubfoot, the clinic was able to give Ca Van Le and Ca Van Hoa the good news that not only was their son’s condition treatable, but that treatment existed 50 km away in Son La, the provincial capital.

Ca Van Le and Ca Van Hoa traveled to Son La for the first time in their lives where doctors told them about the Ponseti method of treatment, a series of 5-8 weekly casts and subsequent shoe braces that would correct their son’s condition and allow him to walk normally.  While they had no direct transportation from their remote, mountain community, Le and Hoa were determined to get their son care.  Even when the rains turned their day long trek into two days, they never missed an appointment.

Today, Ca Van Tien is an energetic 6 year-old whose favorite activity is playing soccer with his brother.  With barely any recollection of his treatment, Ca Van Tien is unaware of the life of physical disability and social isolation that he has escaped – a life that tragically awaits the majority of children born with clubfoot in the developing world.

Since the first clinic at Son La Provincial Hospital in 2007, the Vietnam National Clubfoot Program has partnered with 23 government hospitals throughout the country, providing the Ponseti method of treatment to almost 1000 children.

John Bangura

In 1996, John Bangura was a 30 year-old farmer on his way to the town of Kono when his taxi-van was ambushed by civil war rebels.  John escaped with a bullet wound to his foot. Despite being shot, John was able to make his way home, walking for three days and over 30 miles through the bush. With no medical attention available, John’s leg became infected. He eventually had to have his leg amputated. Three months later, John received his first prosthetic leg from a Mobility Outreach International-supported prosthetics workshop. “No one laughed at me anymore for having only one foot because now I had two.” Receiving a prosthetic has allowed him to play football again and he is able to work as a children’s nursing aid, a profession which he has become passionate about because he can save the lives of children.

Rakib Ul Hasan

On what seemed to be a typical day in Bangladesh, three-year old Rakib Ul Hasan and his father went for a drive through the busy streets of Sarsa. During the drive, Rakib’s father lost control of their van and they hit a tree. Rakib was rushed to the hospital and doctors determined that they would have to ampute his leg above the knee. Despite this tragedy, Rakib is now an active young boy. He walks well using his new prosthesis which was made available to him through the Nalta Hospital, a partner of Mobility Outreach International.

Rosemene and Joubens Jean

On January 12, 2010 Rosemene Jean, her husband, and their two sons Joubens and Schneider escaped the devastating Haiti earthquake with no injuries. A few hours after the earthquake, the family drove to a local hospital to receive medical care for Joubens, who had a high fever. On the way home from the hospital, the Jean family was involved in a serious car accident. Rosemene’s husband was killed and both Rosemene and Joubens had to have a leg a leg amputated.

Although Rosemene and Joubens were fitted with prostheses from other clinics, the limbs were ill-fitting and uncomfortable. Fortunately in June 2014, Rosemene and Joubens were referred to the Justinian University Hospital Physical Rehabilitation Center in Cap Haitien which has been a Mobility Outreach International partner facility since 2012. Mobility Outreach International prosthetist, Mahamadou Soule and his two Haitien student technicians, Isidor and Valcin, evaluated Rosemene and Joubens.  Rosemene’s prosthesis was found to be too loose due to her weight loss, and she needed to be cast and fitted with a new prosthesis. Joubens was also cast and has been fitted with a new prosthesis to accommodate his growing body.

With a new prosthesis, Rosemene will be able to continue her work and leisure activities independently and without pain in her leg. Joubens’ new prosthesis will enable him to continue to develop his skills on the soccer field with other young amputees, and to attend school, where his mother asserts with pride that her son is a “good student”.