Nicaragua June 2012, Day 4 – A Day With The Therapy Team

Over the past few days it has been very busy for the 3 therapists (Arin OT, Kristen OT, and Nikki PT). We were fortunate to receive 3 wheelchairs from a vendor in Indy to bring with us and fit kids that needed them the most. After talking with Dr. Karla, we decided the wheelchairs were going to Edwin (age 5), Wanda (age 6), and Patrick (age 6).  These 3 kids have very significant needs and have had to be carried everywhere by family because they have never had a wheel chair or stroller.  As 5 and 6 year olds, they were not little anymore!! The 3 wheelchairs were all different in size, levels of support, and function. Initially we were worried that the wheelchairs would not fit the needs of the kids.  But we should know not to worry, because every piece of equipment that we bring down has fit a child perfectly. God knew which kid needed a chair and all 3 chairs fit perfectly, with a little inginuity: a head rest, foot rest, and laterals using duct tape, towels, and velcro!  All three families were present during the fitting and left with smiles knowing they no longer had to carry their child. Here are a few pictures of the wheelchair fitting.

The other focus on the therapy side has been splinting. Many kids had significant positioning needs for their hands, wrists, and elbows.  The need for splinting has been voiced for years but we have not recently had a therapist trained/comfortable in splinting.  Fortunately Kristen is a hand therapist and loves splinting.  Again, another reminder that God knows what he’s doing!! We were able to work with Jacqueline, the therapist at the schools, and train her on how to make resting hand splints.  Although she has never had training, during her second attempt (1st attempt on an actual child), her splint looked great and she felt confident to continue to make the splints herself.  It has been amazing to watch Jacqueline go from a quiet therapy student to an outgoing and confident, colleague. The relationship between us has grown beyond just therapy.  We all greatly enjoyed an afternoon of fellowship and “girl talk” as great friends that get together once or twice a year. God is so cool!!


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