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  • Bringing Hope to Haiti

    Bringing Hope to Haiti

    Local Prosthetist Heading to Haiti to Help Amputees

    Nacogdoches prosthetist, Sherrie Anderson, owner of Professional Prosthetic Care, stands in a room full of prosthetics limbs and supplies. Anderson plans to head to Haiti in August to help people who became amputees following the earthquake.

    Posted: Thursday, July 15, 2010 2:00 am | Updated: 9:56 pm, Wed Jul 14, 2010.

    The 7.0 magnitude earthquake that shook Haiti in January has continued to reverberate past the buildings and streets of Port-au-Prince and into the lives of people around the world.

    Nacogdoches prosthetist Sherrie Anderson is one of those people who felt - from across the globe - the need to help.

    Anderson, the owner of Professional Prosthetic Care, plans to head to Haiti in August to help meet the endless needs of people who became amputees because of injuries suffered during the quake.

    "Right after the earthquake, there were estimations of thousands of new amputees there," Anderson said. "And this is something I've always wanted to be able to do - just to be able to use my skills to help people that otherwise couldn't benefit from our services."

    And those skills are certainly in high demand following the earthquake.

    "My understanding is that people just come (to hospitals) every day and hope they are going to be seen that day, and there's always a line of people with amputations," she said. "We will just never be able to help all of them, I feel."

    After she decided she wanted to go to Haiti, Anderson signed on with Lumiere Medical Ministries, a non-profit organization out of North Carolina that has been helping there for more than a decade, long before this year's earthquake.

    "The Lumiere Medical Ministries has been around several years, and they had two hospitals there," she said. "Since the earthquake, there have been new organizations that have sprung up there, but I wanted to be a part of one that had already been established."

    Anderson will accompany a team of individuals on the mission.

    "The team I'm going with includes two people who do what I do and two physical therapists," she said. "So we fit the artificial limbs, and they teach them how to use them."

    The other prosthetist is from France, and the physical therapists are coming from Houston.

    The prosthetics are different than what we see here in the U.S., she said.

    "The prosthetics there are made out of a PVC pipe-type material so that they don't rust or corrode with the environment there, and there's not as many moving parts," she said. "What we have here is made out of titanium or aluminum, but they're much more high-tech, but we have a much more controlled environment."

    With the ability to monitor the prosthetics here in the U.S., more moving parts isn't a problem, but a lot of the people in Haiti who will be receiving the limbs will not always have someone available to keep the new limbs maintained. The fewer moving parts, the longer a limb can last there. But Anderson's team hopes to help people adjust accordingly.

    Her team will be there two weeks, and they are among the many that cycle in and out on a regular basis.

    "They try to keep it where there's always a team there," she said. "My plan is to go once a year, and continue to keep going. They like to get people who can commit to something, so they can keep that rotation going all the time."

    And while Anderson will be working with the LMM, the cost of the trip, and her volunteering, comes out of her own pocket.

    "This organization is completely non-profit, and when I go, I'm paying my own way," she said. "All the money that's donated to LMM goes toward the hospitals, and everyone who volunteers pays their own way."

    For more information on Lumiere Medical Ministries, or to donate to LMM, visitlumiereministries.com.

     

     

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