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Two get a chance to walk again

Two get a chance to walk again

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Two Vincentians have received prosthetic legs through the Patsy Douglas Youth Empowerment Foundation/Diabetic Initiative.{{more}}

On Tuesday, September 14, Janelle Ballah, Senior Physiotherapist at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH), presented two custom made prostheses to Lorna Moore of Georgetown and Ken Roberts of Arnos Vale.

Moore, 59, expressed thanks to the Patsy Douglas Youth Empowerment Foundation/Diabetic Initiative, adding that since losing her leg, she has been confined to her home.

“I can’t go anywhere unless I ask my son to drop me,” said Moore.

She noted that her new leg will enhance her life, because she will be able to go to church, as well as other places on her own.

When SEARCHLIGHT visited the Physiotherapy Ward on Tuesday, Roberts, 51, after a few walking sessions with Ballah, was seen trying to take several steps on his own.

When asked if he cared to share how he felt about receiving his new leg, he said he was happy to be able to walk again.

He used the opportunity to thank everyone who contributed to his receiving the prosthesis.

Both Moore and Roberts lost their legs as a result of diabetic complications.

Ballah explained that diabetes is prevalent and amputations are also becoming widespread because of the disease.

In a news release, founder of the foundation, Nurse Ann Marie Lee-Wilkins, who started the foundation in memory of her friend, Sister Patricia Ann Douglas, stated that she is pleased to make the donation.

Lee-Wilkins said that she hopes that this will greatly improve the quality of life of Moore and Roberts.

Moore and Roberts will now undergo physiotherapy to learn how to use their new limbs efficiently.

Dankmeyer Inc., a fabricator of prostheses in Maryland, donated the component parts for the prostheses and made them at their facility.

Lee-Wilkins is hoping to continue her medical missions annually, with special focus on persons suffering with diabetes. She is also hoping to be able to facilitate the donation of prostheses in the future. To this end, Ballah underwent a two-week appreticeship at Dankmeyer Inc. in October 2009, to learn to make small adjustments which may be necessary in fitting the prostheses.

Her visit was made possible through the collaborative effort of the Patsy Douglas Youth Empowerment Foundation/Diabetic Initiative, Dankmeyer Inc., and the St.Vincent and the Grenadines Ministry of Health.

The foundation’s main initiative is to fund scholarships to underprivileged youths in the state of Maryland and St.Vincent and the Grenadines. Lee-Wilkins then thought that she could also incorporate a medical mission to her homeland, St.Vincent and the Grenadines.

The first medical mission took place in 2009. Members of the team included a physiatrist, nurses, nurse practitioners, an endocrinolologist and a physiotherapist/Orthotist-Prosthetist. (HN)