Vania was 10 when she was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a cancer of the bone most commonly found in young adults. A year later after failed courses of radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment saw young Vania lose her left leg. She underwent a hip disarticulation surgery where her entire left leg was amputated including the hip joint where her cancerous tumor lived.
To lose the hip joint takes the struggle to survive for an amputee to the next level. Without the joint a person’s balance is massively thrown off. Vania would need to learn to use her abdominal and pelvic muscles differently in order to walk with a prosthetic. And without any residual limb on that side for a Prosthetist to attach to it’s difficult for a new leg to be properly fit to the body.
After her operation it was 5 years before Vania would be given a first prosthetic leg through the public health system and the limb she eventually received was a poor fitting ‘of the shelf’ type product. It didn’t even have a knee joint, let alone a hip so she essentially had a peg leg with a foot! From the age of 16 until she came across the CMA 10 years later, she would exist with this prosthetic, limping and enduring terrible pain as her body outgrew the limb which had never properly fit her.
Vania who was never in a position to afford a replacement amputation couldn’t believe it when a friend put her in touch with our clinic (CMA) who could give her her very own custom made prosthesis, free of charge. Vania’s quality of life has improved ten fold since she received her new limb from the CMA. She’s a much more active, happy, and confident 26 year old with lots of time to make up for.
By: CMA / FUNPROBO
With funds donated by Elizabeth Non Profit “Sending out an SOS” in California USA, and provided to the prosthetic center “Centro de Miembros Artificiales” in La Paz Bolivia, another above the knee Bolivian amputee is now able to walk again.
In February of 2010, a school teacher from Tupiza named Henry was involved in an accident that would change his life forever. After a long hot day at work, Henry decided to wait for it to cool down before returning to town. He waited for a few hours, then he decided to head home on his motorcycle around 7 pm. While riding home he was involved in a head on collision with an oncoming bus. Henry was thrown violently to the side of the road from his motorcycle and landed on an iron pipe protruding from the ground that severely damaged his left leg. People who witnessed the accident took him to the hospital. Unfortunately, he was not carrying his identification papers, so he had to wait more than five hours before he was admitted to surgery. In the end, Henry lost his left leg, and could no longer enjoy his passions in life such as fishing, walking in the forest, and hanging out with friends.
In November of 2010, Henry managed to get a prosthetic limb from a private clinic (costing only 1,000Bs), but the limb was poorly made and did not fit him correctly. He was not able to use the limb and started to become depressed. Fortunately, a doctor in Tupiza, informed Henry about a non-profit prosthetic center: Centro de Miembros Artificiales (CMA). Henry went to CMA where he was provided with a prosthetic leg . Henry now plans to once again enjoy the life he had before his accident and return to his job as a teacher
Con fondos donados por la Fundacion de Elizabeth Bress ” Sending Out An SOS” en Estados Unidos a “Centro de Miembros …Artificiales ” en La Paz Bolivia, Henry recibió una pierna ortopédica que le ha permitido volver a tener esperanza nuevamente y la posibilidad de volver a ejercer su trabajo como profesor en Tupiza. Después de 6 años depresivos debido a la amputacion de su pierna a causa de ser chocado por un bus en el año 2010 el cual cambió el transcurso de su vida entera; Henry tiene nuevamente una sonrisa en su rostro que deja entrever esa chispa que estaba casi totalmente perdida . Ahora todo depende de las ganas y el empeño que Henry le coloque a su recuperación y a lo que desee hacer con su vida.
Elizabeth speaking about her non profit “Sending Out an SOS” and her story on how she overcame disability.