Find Local Events (pick a date)
 
Browse Boulder real estate by neighborhood, school and zip code along with other homes for sale in Colorado on COhomefinder.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Home / Articles / News / News /  Local clinician reflects on trip to Haiti
. . . . . . .
Give Through iGivefirst
Thursday, July 8,2010

Local clinician reflects on trip to Haiti

By Adrienne Saia Isaac

Stephanie Porter gave mobility to earthquake-ravaged nation

Stephanie Porter felt the rush of air conditioning when she stepped off the plane at Miami International Airport last month. She found herself surrounded once again by Starbucks, restaurants and the buzz common to the average American traveler.

But she wasn’t the average traveler. Sure, she spent two weeks on a tropical Caribbean island. But the island was Haiti. Stephanie wasn’t there to take in the sights; she was there to give people back their mobility.

Porter, a prosthetist with Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics in Lafayette, spent 14 days in Haiti fitting and constructing prosthetics for people affected by the January 2010 earthquake. The magnitude 7.0 quake rocked the small, poverty-stricken island, leaving an estimated 230,000 people dead and 300,000 injured. The Hanger Orthopedic Group, through its philanthropic wing, the Ivan R. Sabel Foundation, committed to sending two to three clinicians every two weeks to fit people with prosthetics for at least one calendar year.

But in Haiti the need for medical aid in terms of prosthetics ran deeper than what was left by the quake. Hanger and its clinicians weren’t going to limit the scope of their care.

“Even though we were there as a result of the earthquake, we weren’t going to turn anyone away,” Porter says. “We’re seeing people who are congenital amputees who maybe hadn’t gotten a prosthesis in the past.”

“We weren’t turning anyone anyway,” she says, “because we felt that wouldn’t be the right thing to do.”

Hanger partnered with Hôpital Albert Schweitzer, a privately run medical center founded by the Mellon family in Deschapelles, a town two and a half hours from Port-au-Prince. The hospital dedicated one of its buildings to housing the Hanger teams so they could be on site with their patients. The hospital also provided a group of houses, called L’escale, for their amputees. The patients could stay through their prosthesis fitting and the subsequent physical therapy. Having the patients live together and support one another was just one of the things Porter recalled that made the experience so unique.

“They were able to create this community,” she says of the L’escale residents. “It was like a support group, and that part of it was really special.”

The strength of community among the amputees in Deschappelles was out-shined only by the strength of their desire to walk again.

“Their will to get up and start walking is pretty powerful,” says Porter.

She saw her patients in Haiti progress rapidly once outfitted, even more so than some people she had seen in the United States.

“It’s the little things,” Porter says, referring to the source of this physical strength and rapid progress.

“They walk in the mountains or through the streets on any given day carrying things on their heads — a bushel or basket of bananas, a bunch of long twigs or stems or trunks of small trees or gigantic bags of who knows what,” Porter says.

“When you have two limbs, [it] requires a lot of balance and core stability to be able to traverse uneven surfaces. A prosthesis isn’t as much of a challenge because they’re already challenging their bodies to balance in that way,” she says.

Porter was also free from what she calls the “extraneous stuff ” of prosthetic work. She didn’t have to deal with insurance companies or paperwork; she focused solely on the fabrication and fitting of her patients’ protheses. She estimates that the Hanger team was able to help upwards of 40 to 50 people in the two weeks before another team came to replace them.

“We have all of the fabrication supplies we need on site, and each of us traveled with boxes of supplies as well,” says Porter. She credits lead prosthetist Jay Tew for setting up a system that allowed the clinic to run efficiently. “It’s a testament to all of the hard work he’s done that it’s pretty streamlined,” she says. “It looks a lot like what we’d be doing in the States.”

Since all the pieces of the prosthetic puzzle were on site, the actual time from casting to delivering the prosthesis was a matter of days. Porter arrived in the middle of treatment for some patients, and was also able to see patients through the entire process. She’ll be able to count on those who relieved her to see the unfinished processes through.

“It’s very easy just to walk in and to know where someone left off and to go from there,” she says.

She’s getting updates on her patients via e-mail and is interested in their progress, how they’re living with their new limbs.

Porter says she wished she could have connected more with her patients, but that the language barrier was difficult to overcome in such a short period of time. The Hanger team worked through interpreters, but that didn’t stop them from being inspired by their patients’ stories — and by their sheer will to walk again.

When asked about the patients who inspired her, Porter pulls up a video of a woman in a white T-shirt and pink Nikes. Her name is Mitha. She’s standing on what could only loosely be called a road, leaning on two walking sticks. Extending from her thigh to her pink sneakers are prosthetic legs, metal rods hinged at the knee, the medical fix for a devastating injury resulting from the quake.

“She lost both legs above the knee,” says Porter.

“She lost one leg, and they were trying to save the other. They fought it and fought it, but she ended up being a bilateral above-the-knee amputee.”

In the video, Mitha looks into the camera and takes a tentative step. And then another. She moves deftly for someone who’s only been an amputee for a few months. More importantly, Mitha smiles the entire time.

Porter marvels at the video, at the progress Mitha had shown in such a short period of time.

“We always start people with very simplistic technology and see how they’ll do,” says Porter. Within a matter of months, Mitha was walking half a mile at a time on her new legs.

“You can never anticipate how someone’s going to respond,” says Porter. “Are they going to lower their activity level, or are they going to continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible?” “I would say in the case of Mitha, she just continued to push boundaries, and it was just so powerful, her spirit and her will.”

Porter hopes that, eventually, Mitha can come to the United States to be outfitted with even more advanced prostheses to enable her patient to further push the limits of her injury, to have the will to work against the impossible.

It takes a special patient to work against seemingly impossible odds. And it takes a dedicated clinician to bring them the gift of mobility. For Stephanie Porter, it’s part of the job.

For the people she helps, it’s a chance to rebuild more than their bodies, but their lives.

To help Haiti’s amputees, visit www.hashaiti.org to donate. More information about Hanger’s involvement in Haiti can be found at www.hanger.com.

Respond: letters@boulderweekly.com

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
POST A COMMENT
No Registration Required
REPLY TO THIS COMMENT

The process of trying to find it is one of the central things that really can keep human societies evolving.carders forum

 

A bunch of long twigs or stems or trunks of small trees or gigantic bags of who knows what,” Porter says.all payday loans

 

Separated from that, these packs are likewise made of truly tough materials, to guarantee the broadened life. low credit long term loans

 

The hospital dedicated one of its buildings to housing the Hanger teams so they could be on site with their patients. bubblegum casting

 

Your site always offer some really interesting information. Thank you for sharing it with us. girlsdoporn

 

I really like the way you are giving the novel handle this subject. Keep it up! You surely know how to bring an issue to light and make it basic. garcinia cambogia

 

The hospital dedicated one of its buildings to housing the Hanger teams so they could be on site with their patients.bubblegum casting

 

Her name is Mitha. She’s standing on what could only loosely be called a road, leaning on two walking sticks. bubblegum casting

 

How you are clever to explore such awesome utilitys online I volition never recognize. I unbiased recognize I am beholden to you for introducing us to such places as Grab My Essay Online direct your blogs. This liturgy has my paper fusss sorted!

 

The Hanger Orthopedic Group, through its philanthropic wing, the Ivan R. Sabel Foundation, committed to sending two to three clinicians every two weeks to fit people with prosthetics for at least one calendar year teddy sagi

 

I was really caught with the bit of assets you have got here. Enormous thumbs up for making such grand online journal page! My site

 

Orthotics in Lafayette, spent 14 days in Haiti fitting and constructing prosthetics for people affected by the January 2010 earthquake. http://math.fullerton.edu

 

Much thanks to you for an alternate vital article. Where else could anybody get that sort of data in such a complete method for composing. Efds Hypnose

 

The first several months of my site there were no comments; just give it time; now they come in like crazy every day! Thanks. Buy Facebook Likes

 

wow this good but ,I like your post and good pics may be any peoples not like because defrent mind all poeple , buying facebook likes

 

This is very interesting content! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your points and have come to the conclusion that you are right about many of them. You are great. Edward Bass Films

 

This is all that much noteworthy for valuable data in this blog that to use the colossal data is unmistakable in this web journal. defend village

 

I needed to much obliged in your time for this sublime read!! I decidedly getting a charge out of every tad bit of it and I have you bookmarked to look at new stuff you weblog post. Cipto Junaedy  Cipto Junaedy  Cipto Junaedy  Jadwal MotoGP 2015 di Trans 7  Cara Upload Video ke Youtube  Download BBM Untuk Android Versi Terbaru  Cara Membuat Email  Cara Instal Windows 7 So fortunes to run over your incredible online journal. Your online journal presents to me a lot of fun.. Good fortunes with the site. Jinpoker.com Agen Judi Poker Online dan Domino Online Indonesia Terpercaya  Cahayapoker.com Agen Judi Poker Dan Domino Uang Asli Online Terpercaya Indonesia  ituDewa.net Agen Judi Poker Domino QQ Ceme Online Indonesia • Nusantarapoker.com Agen Texas Poker Dan Domino Online Tanpa Robot Terpercaya

 

The Hanger Orthopedic Group, through its philanthropic wing, the Ivan R. Sabel Foundation, committed to sending two to three clinicians every two weeks to fit people with prosthetics for at least one calendar year.Best Pet Links

 

Such a decent post it issued me enough knowledge.That is really useful. <clash of kings mod apk

 

There are big differences in the law, I’m sure, but I’m sure he can tell us what the differences are and have some solutions for us to think about.cash advance loans

 

I as of late ran over your site and have been perusing along. I thought I would leave my first remark. chaturbate.com token hack

 

I read this article. I think You put a lot of effort to create this article. I appreciate your work. Astuce Clash of Clans

 

I looked on the web for the point and discovered most people will favor with this page. poor credit loans

 

The first several months of my site there were no comments; just give it time; now they come in like crazy every day! Thanks. girlsdoporn

 

Sabel Foundation, committed to sending two to three clinicians every two weeks to fit people with prosthetics for at least one calendar year.drug rehab centers of texas

 

This is a great article thanks for sharing this informative information. I will visit your blog regularly for some latest post. I will visit your blog regularly for Some latest post. Warren

 

I am exceptionally cheerful to discover this blog. Much obliged for making the page related site

 

The writing style is superior and the content is relevant. Thanks for the insight you provide the readers!decorative concrete

 

Wow!wonderful site.Recent i read this site and shear numerous others.Thanks. a considerable measure for imparting. cougar sites

 

the streets on any given day carrying things on their heads — a bushel or basket of bananas, a bunch of long twigs or stems or trunks of small trees or gigantic bags of who knows what,” Porter says. Kidnapping Mr. Heineken Online

 

REPLY TO THIS COMMENT

Your page is sweet, your graphics are great, and what's more, you use videos that are relevant to what you're saying. You're definitely one in a million, man!

 

Very excelent! It was exactly what I searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up. Great work. cappadocia tours

 

REPLY TO THIS COMMENT

%u05D1%u05E8%u05D5%u05E0%u05D8%u05D9%u05EA %u05DE%u05D3%u05D4%u05D9%u05DE%u05D4 %u05E8%u05E7 %u05DC%u05E8%u05D1%u05D5%u05EA VIP! %u05D1%u05D7%u05D5%u05E8%u05D4 %u05D9%u05E4%u05D4 %u05E2%u05DD %u05D0%u05D3%u05DD %u05D4%u05D2%u05D5%u05DF %u05D7%u05D2  %u05D3%u05DE%u05D5%u05EA %u05D0%u05DC%u05D2%u05E0%u05D8%u05D9%u05EA.

 %u05DE%u05D5%u05D0%u05E8, %u05DE%u05DC%u05D0 %u05EA%u05E9%u05D5%u05E7%u05D4, %u05DE%u05E1%u05EA%u05D5%u05E8%u05D9

, %u05D0%u05DC%u05D2%u05E0%u05D8%u05D9, %u05DE%u05EA%u05D7%u05E9%u05D1 %u05D5%u05E1%u05E7%u05E1%u05D9, %u05D2%u05D1%u05E8%u05EA %u05D0%u05DE%u05D9%u05EA%u05D9%u05EA

 %u05E2%u05DD %u05E0%u05D9%u05DE%u05D5%u05E1%u05D9%u05DD %u05D8%u05D5%u05D1%u05D9%u05DD %u05D5%u05D8%u05E2%u05DD %u05DE%u05E9%u05D5%u05D1%u05D7 %u05DE%u05D7%u05DB%u05D4 %u05DC %u05DC%u05D1%u05E7%u05E8. %u05D1%u05E0%u05E4%u05E8%u05D3. %u05DE%u05DB%u05E8%u05D4 100% %u05EA%u05DE%u05D5%u05E0%u05D4. %u05E7%u05D5%u05E8%u05D0 %u05DC%u05EA%u05E9%u05D5%u05D1%u05D4 %u05E2%u05E6%u05DE%u05D5.%u05D4%u05D3%u05D9%u05E8%u05D4 %u05DE%u05D5%u05D2%u05E0%u05EA

 %u05D0%u05DD %u05DC%u05D0 %u05D4%u05E8%u05D9%u05DD %u05D0%u05EA %u05D4%u05D8%u05DC%u05E4%u05D5%u05DF, %u05DC%u05D4%u05EA%u05E7%u05E9%u05E8 %u05E9%u05D5%u05D1:-) 1000 %u05E7%u05DC%u05D0%u05E1%u05D9 %u05E9%u05E2%u05D4, %u05E6%u05D5%u05E2%u05E7 %u05D5%u05E2%u05D9%u05E1%u05D5%u05D9 %u05D0%u05E8%u05D5%u05D8%u05D9

 

http://escort-center.info/

http://escort-center.com/

http://0544342878.com


 

I must say, I thought this was a pretty interesting read when it comes to this topic. Liked the material. . . buy cheap facebook page likes

 

 
Close
Close