Friday, May 27, 2022

ANNOUNCE news from Ibarra Ecuador

Kit Frank

Ibarra, Ecuador, July 2011

Fundación Prótesis para La Vida

Today Kevin walked up the driveway, up the ramp, and into our clinic,
wearing a broad smile that was mirrored by his parents. Two months ago his
long-leg braces had been fabricated by our technician, Ivan, and his walker
made by our machinist, Luis.

Now at age nine this young boy with spina bifida is finally able to
walk. Kevin
is a star student in math with a bright future. Cristian Jesus, age 8 with
cerebral palsy, also walked for the first time this week, surprising both
himself and his mother.

Our old friends, Carlita and Alex, are now 3 and 4 respectively and are
expert walkers; they have returned for their second prostheses. As you will see from the photos, we
are lacking in children’s prosthetic parts and often must use adult parts. As
soon as one child received his new prosthesis , the foot from his old
prosthesis was given to the next child. We are very much in need of all
children’s parts: feet, pylons, tube clamps, female adapters, foot adapters,
and pyramids. Oftentimes families in the US keep their children’s older
prostheses as they grow, but if they would like to donate them, the need is

A woman who traveled from central Ecuador received a BK prosthesis after
losing her foot due to walking on the side of it for many years, secondary
to a congenital deformity. While she practiced walking with her new
prosthesis, we made a brace for a young woman who walks on the side of her
foot due to polio, and is now walking more upright and protecting her foot
from further damage.

We continue to have trials with new components which have been developed for
this part of the world. We are working with the Ital arm, the RE:Motion
knee, and the LIMBS knee.

These high quality and less expensive components have potential to bring
prosthetics within the reach of more individuals. Durability and
functionality are of course our highest priority. We also see benefits in
terms of ease of fit, universality of fit, and potential for manufacture or
assembly outside the US.

The clinic is operating 52 weeks a year and with donated and purchased
materials, and is able to provide orthotics and prosthetics for about 100
Ecuadorans per year. We are very pleased with the improvement of follow-up
care and with the patients’ desire to overcome barriers of finances and
travel to return. Each adult patient is asked to determine if there is a
donation they could make to the clinic, no matter how small. Many people
are able to receive assistance from family members, church, community
groups, or employers to make a donation. In this way, the efforts of
patients help to continue the work of the clinic. In addition, the local
government supports the prosthetic and orthotic needs of all children and
helps to defray costs of materials and salaries. We work toward the day
when the clinic is self-sufficient within Ecuador but meanwhile continue to
provide donated components and professional collaboration, generously
supported by A Leg to Stand On Foundation in the United States.

If you would like to enquire about volunteering or about donating
components, please contact Jen Lee, [email protected], who is our North
American Coordinator. Or visit

Kit Frank, OTR


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