The Physical Therapy department of Centro de Miembros Artificiales has shown dramatic improvements over the last 12 months with the arrival of many experienced physical and occupational therapists. These skilled professionals include, Joe Dorne (UK), Beatrice Eggertswyler (Switzerland), Amanda Marriott (Australia), Ailsa Whyte and Alana Murphy (USA). These volunteers have been an enormous asset to our team as they shared critical expertise, helped to educate our Bolivian staff in rehabilitation techniques, and worked directly with our patients.
The patients greatly appreciate the additional one-on-one attention, and it significantly improves their confidence.
The therapists teach them strength-building skills, gait training and balance exercises.
Our volunteers also created a comprehensive evaluation template and a list of exercises that we can customize for each of our patients. The goal is for our patients to continue their exercises and therapy at home. In addition, our volunteers provided training on the following therapy techniques: lymphatic massage, scar massage, residual limb reduction and skills to improve both coordination and strength.
Our vision is to raise funds to build more equipment (i.e., walking ramp and steps) and expand the entire area. Currently, our patients practice walking (their first steps in some cases) in our driveway—which is not an ideal situation for rehabilitation. Although our physical therapy room is small and simple, a lot of dreams come true in this space…thanks to the hard work of our committed staff and so many talented volunteers.