Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia

by Mahavir Kmina Artificial Limb Center
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia
Give prosthetics to low limbs amputees in Colombia

With an unwavering spirit, Maria Teresa inspires everyone in the Corporation with a smile during her appointment. She says that the amputation has not been a reason to stop working, on the contrary, she eagerly awaits the prosthesis to continue dedicating herself to his work with care.

With a great love for the Colombian coast, she works organizing tourist trips to Coveñas and other destinations. In addition, it offers lodging in Medellín with a delicious offer of traditional food from Córdoba, her native department. “I like to prepare all the foods, I like to organize the meats, stuffing, and sancochos from back home, from the coast, good food from there,” she says excitedly, as she remembers the coastal flavors.

In 2021, Maria Teresa was diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma, a type of cancer capable of manifesting itself in any part of the body, and in her case, it appeared in her right leg. Thanks to the advanced technology and knowledge of doctors, she thanks the health personnel who treated her, as she says they saved her life, even though they had to amputate her leg above the knee. “My family has supported me a lot because this is not easy. Losing a member is not easy. So I have had the support of friends and my family, thanks to my God, that all the strength of everyone and mine too, because I have put in an effort because it is horrible, it gives a lot of nostalgia, it gives everything,” expresses Maria Teresa.


At the beginning of 2022, she saw a publication about Mahavir Kmina. The hope of walking again, without the help of crutches and a walker, made her feel strong. She did not hesitate to ask her son Manuel to help her with the request for the prosthesis. As the best gift, her son surprised her on Mother's Day with the news that he had an appointment at the Corporation. The following Monday, they arrived at 7:00 a.m. They had reviews with the psychologist and the specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation, who noticed that at that time, Maria Teresa had a swollen stump, which is why they had to postpone the measurements and adaptation of the prosthesis. Before returning home, Mahavir Kmina's doctor suggested some exercises, as well as keeping his stump at rest and in a position that would allow the swelling to go down.


Two months later, she was summoned again for the fabrication and adaptation of the prosthesis. On this occasion, she made sure to follow the doctor's recommendations. She says that she had to reduce her work in the kitchen, "although I had someone to help me, I like to work, but my leg was getting very inflamed, because I hung it up, now I was careful and put on the blindfold. As soon as they put the prosthesis on me, I will be ready to get back to work, as that is what I hope the most”. In addition, this time allowed her to focus on the tourist busses, as this is a job she can do from her cell phone, and allowed her to rest her stump.

She takes the opportunity to thank and show how happy she feels about this new opportunity. “I am hoping to return to work with encouragement and strength. There are many things that I cannot do at the moment, and I have to ask for a favor. We have to thank the Lord because I have a prosthesis. After all, although it is not the limb that I lost and it does not replace it, it is a help,” acknowledging that the adaptation is a part of the process that takes time.


Maria Teresa wants her experience to be an example of improvement for those who feel pain due to the loss of a limb, which is why she expresses, “I am going to work to send everything I can to this foundation because I am very grateful. To the people who are amputated and do not know Mahavir Kmina, I tell them not to feel bad, that they have to keep going, that Mahavir Kmina is a foundation that helps and makes them walk again.”

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"Farmers cultivate hope and harvest the future," and Orlando is a young man who has been working in the fields since he was eight years old, cultivating his dreams to become the man he is today. His love for the countryside characterizes him, as he has dedicated himself to planting coffee, corn, and beans. As he says, "anything that results."

In 2019, he lived with his brother in the city. While they were looking for work in the fields. One day he got a job in the Llanos de Cuivá to scythe. With the dedication that characterizes him, he undertook the work. Accidentally the blade of the scythe broke, causing the amputation of his right leg.


Although they have never enjoyed living in the city, due to the situation, they had to return to Medellín to get medical attention. The first month after the event, he felt a lot of anguish and thought that the situation would be challenging to face. Still, thanks to the support of his family, he undertook his recovery. As he says, "the support of my family was excellent, thank God, that's why it was not so hard, also because everyone supported me well. Even though I lost part of it, I lost my foot and all that, in reality, it has been good. I have never felt stressed about what happened. I know I am not going to die. I have accepted the amputation well, thank God".

His desire to move forward and persist has allowed him to overcome the difficulties and even demonstrate that with a positive attitude, even overcoming the expectations of the rehabilitation time is possible.

He came to the Corporation thanks to the information shared by an acquaintance, who gave him the number to call. After waiting a couple of weeks to attend his longed appointment, he received the first prosthesis in February 2020. With all the motivation, he began his adaptation process, "the truth is that it is not so hard for me, because I got the prosthesis and after 15 days I went to work", he laughs, adding, "I started working softly, and now I do whatever I have to, thank God."

Sports has also been one of his passions. Since he was a child, he played soccer and rode his bicycle. While telling his story, he said, "almost every day I ride a bicycle. I love sports too much, soccer too". Although, he feels that now there are some physical activities that he cannot do as before. He does not leave them aside. He enjoys them a lot in his free time. Accompanied by his friends, as he narrates during the conversation, "we go to the river, then we all go by bike, almost every day we go fishing."


Orlando knows his experience can inspire more people to encourage them to fulfill their dreams. He shares it, explaining that what is required to overcome difficult moments is to have the best attitude. "Is to give the best of you always. Where I live, there are also people amputated like me, and I feel like talking to them, but it could make them feel bad, but yes, hopefully later I will have the opportunity to talk to those people and inspire them."

Before returning home with his prosthesis, he said goodbye giving a smile to all the collaborators of the Corporation. "At this moment, what makes me most happy is that I walked again. Thanks to God, I am thrilled, and I am very grateful to be able to walk again. That is what makes me the happiest".

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Yulieth is an inspiring woman with great willpower. She demonstrates that there are no impossible obstacles to overcome when we have dreams to fulfill and the mind willing to achieve them. Her children are her greatest motivation because, as she said, "they are a reflection of who you are, and I want to be the best example for mine."

It all started when she discovered that she had a kidney problem, for which she had to go to the hospital for frequent dialysis. On September 7, 2021, like any other day, she got up to have her treatment, accompanied by her cousin, because she didn't feel well enough to drive alone, let alone after dialysis. The rain did not seem to stop on the way home, the pavement became slippery, and the traffic congestion got worse. The driving seemed to last forever until they crashed a car when they lost control of the motorcycle and slipped.

Yulieth's cousin managed to jump off the motorcycle, but she did not have time to react and went flying until she landed on her left knee. While she was assimilating what had just happened, she waited for the ambulance to arrive, which took more than 50 minutes due to the traffic congestion caused by the rain and the accident.

There was not much time to make decisions. On September 9, one day after her daughter's birthday, her leg was amputated to prevent gangrene, which would continue to spread, as her toes started to turn purple. The whole foot was already the same color. She only remembered the words of her little girl, who said, "remember that we are waiting for you at home, leg or no leg." Yulieth was able to return home the next day after the surgery. She received therapies that were a gift from the physiotherapist who treated her case as she did not have the resources or the affiliation to any health entity that would cover her needs. She felt that she would not be able to get out of this situation.

During her recovery process, she said, "I started to search desperately on Facebook because I did not have the resources and wanted to do everything again, like seeing my children play soccer. I looked for prostheses in foundations, and I found Mahavir Kmina. I read and started to cry". For her, it meant that she could recover her hope and her illusion of being independent again, mobilizing herself.

Although she cried with emotion, she also doubted whether what was happening was real, "the truth is that one does not believe. I sent the form and told the people at the house without knowing if it was true. A month later, I received an approval e-mail crying with emotion because I couldn't believe it". With the support of his family, she celebrated the great news that on Monday, February 7, 2022, she would receive her prosthesis to start over.

"From the moment they receive you at the halfway house in the Corporation, everyone has a lot of charisma. It's like you come back and live," she said, as she recalled that day when her dream of obtaining a prosthesis became a reality. During her stay in Medellín, she shared her experience with people who have amputations "I was very nervous, but when I saw that people were working with a prosthesis, I was surprised. They received us very special, saying that you can also do everything again", adding, "most people make you feel that without a leg you cannot do anything and in Kmina it is the opposite, they made me believe that I am capable of everything."

Deison, one of the Corporation's prosthetists, was in charge of assisting her and fabricating her prosthesis. During the fitting, he gave her some advice to move forward. He told her about his experience as a bilateral prosthesis user. His testimony was enough to empower Yulieth and show her that everything is possible. "Deison told me that I had to love my prosthesis, that there are many people who do not adapt to the prosthesis because it hurts the stump, but that was no reason not to try and keep walking." Deison's words and testimony became a great motivation to take, more and more, firm steps forward, regardless of the pain in the stump.

After spending a day at the Corporation, she felt joyful. Her family felt upon seeing her return, "when I arrived with the prosthesis, they were very excited." Although she began to use the prosthesis she had received with such excitement, she noticed that her stump was swelling, so she decided to use it little by little while her limb was getting used to the orthopedic device. As she adapted, her will to resume an active life increased, and she decided to go back to the gym, the one that once gave her back her self-esteem and self-confidence and where now, as she said, "I tried, I saw that I was capable and everyone at the gym helped me with support."

As she was taking ownership of her prosthesis, she thought of her children as a source of inspiration to move forward. "I have a girl and a boy, and the girl has a tumor in the neck, cystic hygroma, which has no cure, and I have turned a lot to get a drug in Bogota." These are how she recounted the impact on her life and the support she received from Mahavir Kmina, "thanks to the prosthesis, I could turn around to take it to Bogota and continue with the treatment of my child, this prosthesis impacts my life, the life of my daughter and my family" adding "what they have done in my life, is to give it back to me."

Before losing her leg, she worked in a roasted meat and sancocho business, and once she gets the surgery for the kidney transplant, she longs to return to her job. In addition, she wants to continue studying. She is a technician and wants to do a degree in child pedagogy to become an example for the little ones.


At the end of the conversation, very grateful to the Corporation, she said "Now, I have a second chance. I like everything about the prosthesis, I feel free. I put on the prosthesis, and my self-esteem goes up to heaven. I do things by myself as I am very independent, and I can walk hand in hand with my children without crutches". Also, for her, having the support of her husband has been fundamental in the whole rehabilitation, because for him to have Mahavir Kmina is synonymous with blessing.

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Accompanied by the sweet smell and taste of sugar cane, Leonel worked as he did every morning in the sugar mill. At approximately two o'clock in the afternoon, while leaving everything ready to make panela the next day, he was leaning on a pile of canes. When he least expected it, they slipped, causing his right foot to become entangled in the machine's pinions, leading him, undoubtedly, to an amputation.

Not even two hours passed. It was barely four o'clock in the afternoon and, he was already in the hospital. Minutes after the event, the ambulance took him to the medical center in Yolombó. Where they performed his surgery a few hours later, which according to Leonel, was successful because it went very well.

Leonel received a visit at his home from a user of two prostheses, who encouraged him, and gave him the good news. He shared with him the Corporation's telephone number, saying, "Well, call, and they can help you with a prosthesis or tell you what you can do."

A few months later, he received his first prosthesis and began a new path of hope. He went from depending on his family and crutches to moving around independently. Although he arrived with pain in his stump and some swelling, it only took him two hours to learn to walk again. Wearing the prosthesis donated by the Corporation, he thanks the people who believe in a better world, because what seemed impossible became an opportunity to start over.

Over time, he began to do some work. With a lot of motivation to move forward. Little by little, as he recovered his self-confidence, he performed activities, for which he emphasized: "it is practically not the same as before, but well, anyway, thanks to God I have moved forward with the help of all of you here, and I feel thrilled."

While waiting for his check-up appointment, he commented how good and happy he felt, expressing: "at least I was myself again, so that I didn't have to be worth it or wait for someone to do me a favor or I don't know, but that I could more or less see what I was capable of doing" for which his daughter commented, "He went back to work, it's not the same, because he can't get the cane, but cuts it, and asks who can get it for him. He has become a person who can fend for himself. It's not like before that he depended on us, and before the accident that we depended on him".

After understanding the power of the mind, he learned a great lesson: if you set your mind to it, you can achieve everything you dream of. Knowing that there are more people, who like him, have overcome different situations, he decided to share some words of encouragement, saying: "courage, to go forward, it is always good to trust again, first of all in God and in these people who are helping us" to which his daughter, Elizabeth, added: "it was very hard for me, and my mom because it is complicated anyway, but my God is kind, and for us, this foundation was the greatest blessing that God sent us because it is the truth."

His family has always been there to accompany and support him since he lives with his wife, daughter, and two grandchildren, always being his motivation. Elizabeth says: "even though Leonel's amputation was difficult for everyone, today we have a lot to be thankful for." For them, the service and attention they received from the Corporation's collaborators have been the best part of the process, because as Maria expressed: "the attention, the staff is excellent, all the change that gives life to people" and in this second visit to Mahavir Kmina, they felt reassured to know that they can continue to count on the service, whenever necessary.

With their smiles full of gratitude, they sent a message to all the people who believe and join the cause: "God bless you, because these donations and all this, change the lives of many people, they have them again, it is like the hope of being someone again" adding, "because when you are like this you lose, I don't know, many things, then when you come back like this, it is like when you die and are born again, it is the same."

Leonel is an example of the impact generated by the work done by the Corporation's team. As a prove of the lessons learned from each part of the process, they shared a reflection for everyone: "life is short, and we have to learn to value so many things that we do not value."

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Nayeli was born in November 2008. Estefanía, like all mothers, counted every little finger on her hands and feet. Although she looked without apparent complications and with all four limbs intact, she was born with a heart problem, a condition for which she underwent open-heart surgery at the age of four. Her childhood was never affected by this delicate intervention that was performed on her heart.

Like any girl her age, she has always enjoyed spending time in the park with her friends, playing, running, and exploring the world. At the age of seven, Estefanía decided to send her to her aunt on vacation in Medellín, to spend Christmas and celebrate the New Year.

It was already January 2015. One day, Nayeli went out to the park, and at that time, she scratched one of her knees, so she returned to her house, with the typical burning, to which they did not see any problems. During those days, the little girl began to feel fever, and as time passed, her body temperature increased. Seeing that her symptom got worse and worse, they rushed her from the emergency room to the hospital.

For the medical team, the first suspicion was a dengue infection, which to their surprise, the presence of this did not appear in the results of the blood tests they performed, but on the other hand, they showed that there was a bacteria in his body. The information indicated that her fever was due to this bacterium that had entered her body.

Due to the wound on her knee, it was not possible to prevent it from affecting her. The bacteria settled in the weak heart of the girl. Due to the complications associated with her cardiac pathology, she presented multiple thrombi, which ended up obstructing some blood vessels, vital for the proper functioning of her extremities, blocking the passage of oxygen, so the necrosis directly affected her arms and legs. "This situation was painful for me, and the whole family. I accepted it because the doctors explained to me that my daughter's life was in danger and the amputations were needed to save her life", says the mother of the little girl, while she tells her story during the interview.

At the age of seven, children begin to be much more aware of each situation and Nayeli, as a result of the amputations, fell into a severe depression. “She was embarrassed by her stumps. At first, she couldn't eat. She had to attend psychological therapy", said Estefanía, recalling that thanks to the necessary care and the love of her family, Nayeli gradually recovered.

Part of this successful rehabilitation process was related to the psychological support that she received from her and with which she learned to accept this new reality in her life. Although she received the arms prostheses and attended the respective therapies, she never adapted to them. Since she carried out all her day-to-day activities with her arms and her stumps, without any inconvenience.

During her physical and occupational therapy, she learned to dress easily. A few days after leaving the hospital, Nayeli received her first leg prostheses thanks to a foundation in Bogotá, with which she began to take her first steps, and although they were not to her liking, she used them for a year.

Then, like a miracle, she and her mother found out about the existence of Mahavir Kmina, through a journalist from Sincelejo, who decided to tell the story of the girl and who, having knowledge of other prosthetic users, benefited by The Corporation shared the contact with Estefanía to start the application process for prostheses as a child. At nine years old, she attended Mahavir Kmina for the first time, and with a big smile outlined, she reflected all the emotion that she felt when seeing that the prostheses that she would receive were much more similar to the rear legs of a person. That same day, she met another beneficiary of the Corporation, younger than her, the beautiful Juliet.

Together, between games and laughter, they received their first prostheses. Prosthetists and family members were surprised to see how easily Nayeli walked again. "She adjusted immediately," recalls her mother. Since then, she has managed to incorporate her prostheses into all activities. Since she uses them all the time, especially to go to school, where she is currently studying sixth grade, obtaining excellent results and sharing with all her friends. "Fortunately, her classmates have known how to understand my daughter's situation. She has not suffered bullying due to her amputations. Bullying was one of my concerns," expresses Estefanía.

Besides studying, Nayeli would like to start swimming lessons, and she has even thought about practicing more sports because, as her mother says: “she is a very independent girl”. Three years after using the prostheses, Nayeli returned to the facilities for its replacement. She expressed how happy she felt with the attention and service that she has received from everyone. Thanks to the support and the opportunity that Mahavir Kmina gave her, the little girl will continue playing, running, learning, and turning each of her dreams into a reality.

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Mahavir Kmina Artificial Limb Center

Location: La Estrella, Antioquia - Colombia
Website:
Project Leader:
Juan Rodrigo Mejia
Executive Director
La Estrella, Antioquia Colombia
$127,189 raised of $150,000 goal
 
1,418 donations
$22,811 to go
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