Hanger Aids Afghani Landmine Survivors

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Team: Gary Lenzini, CPO, Hugh Panton, CPO, FAAOP, Dale Berry, CP, CP(c) and Richard Mason, CP, CP(SA)
Team: Gary Lenzini, CPO, Hugh Panton, CPO, FAAOP, Dale Berry, CP, CP(c) and Richard Mason, CP, CP(SA)

A team of four prosthetists from Hanger Prosthetics & Orthotics fit over 55 Afghani landmine survivors in 10 days, exceeding the original goal of 40. The team returned safely to the US from Kabul, Afghanistan, November 1.

Team members were Dale Berry, CP, CP(c), Minneapolis, Minnesota, team coordinator; Gary Lenzini, CPO, Columbia, Missouri, lower extremity prosthetics specialist; Richard Mason, CP, CP(SA), New Orleans, Louisiana, prosthetic materials and fabrication specialist; and Hugh Panton, CPO, FAAOP, West Palm Beach, Florida, upper-extremity specialist and transfemoral amputee. Several technicians and consultants also supported the team.

The mission, titled Project First Step, was sponsored by Hanger, with support from Otto Bock Health Care and SFI. The mission provided more than $100,000 in medical supplies and prosthetic care to landmine survivors.

Dale Berry, CP, CP(c), and Richard Mason, CP, CP(SA), help Daoud stand on his new prostheses.
Dale Berry, CP, CP(c), and Richard Mason, CP, CP(SA), help Daoud stand on his new prostheses.

The idea for the program began in May 2002, when a team of prosthetic experts, including Team Coordinator Dale Berry, fitted the senior commander of the Northern Alliance, a man named Gulhaider, with a rugged, high-activity prosthetic leg. Pleased with the efficiency and quality of care, Gulhaider and other Afghani leaders requested additional prosthetic assistance for other landmine survivors.

The project also brought American school children to Afghanistan through an online educational program. "The goal was to provide a cultural exploration to children aged 9-14 that transcends terrorism and despairand ultimately projects a message of hope and tolerance for other cultures," said a Hanger spokesperson.



Gary Lenzini, CPO, Hanger lower extremity specialist, makes adjustments to a prosthesis. The boy took his first step in five years a day later.
Gary Lenzini, CPO, Hanger lower extremity specialist, makes adjustments to a prosthesis. The boy took his first step in five years a day later.



Hugh Panton, CPO, FAAOP, Hanger upper extremity specialist and amputee himself, fits a patient with an above-elbow prosthesis.
Hugh Panton, CPO, FAAOP, Hanger upper extremity specialist and amputee himself, fits a patient with an above-elbow prosthesis.