“The range of people who come in to our clinic is enormous and they each have a unique story. The strength of the people we see is humbling. Many patients come in using old or home-made prostheses which can cause incredibly painful cuts and blisters, meaning every step can hurt and damage the body, particularly the spine, due to bad alignment. They continue because they need to be able to walk in order to work and provide for their families.”

Alberto

Alberto was in a car accident in 2005. He fell out of the car and was left for dead. His legs were mutilated and one was later amputated. Without mobility, he lost his job and spiralled into a deep depression. Unable to cope with his anger and suicidal tendencies, his wife eventually left him, taking their children with her. However Alberto’s eldest son would still visit and care for him regularly. One day, while in Jujuy, Argentina Alberto’s son saw a story on television about our clinic and immediately called his father, urging him to contact us. Alberto qualified for free services from the clinic and was given a prosthetic leg in May of 2011. He received more than just medical support.
Ivonne spent many hours counselling Alberto, encouraging him to re-evaluate his life and use his tragedy as an opportunity to change. He has since begun to repair relations with his family and is now the President of a Handicap Advocacy organization in his home, in Oruro, Bolivia. He hopes to get a job helping other amputees.

Ramón

As a young teenager Ramón worked on a construction site. Safety standards were low and one day an accident occurred in which Ramón was was badly electrocuted by high voltage wires. He escaped with his life, but the electricity severed nerves and killed the muscle in his lower legs, as well as badly burning his hands. His legs were amputated immediately. Ramón lost his job and did not receive compensation for his injuries. He could find no other work and could not afford a prosthetic. He spent five years, deeply unhappy, without work or independence. He felt he was a burden to his family. In 2011 he heard of our clinic and came to us. Our technicians made him two prosthetic legs and we found him a donor to sponsor further surgery that he required.
Ramón has regained his independence and now wants to study to be an engineer. He also plans to pursue his dreams of climbing Mt. Illimani and travelling to other countries to play Bolivian music.

Camila

When Camila was just 2, she was run over by a truck and lost her leg. Camila’s parents were poor, so her local community grouped together to buy her a prosthetic leg. As Camila grew, her prosthetic needed replacing frequently. Her mother left and her father struggled to find money; he carried people’s shopping in the market to try to make ends meet.

As a child, Camila loved playing football, but at 15, she was still using the prosthetic she was bought aged 12. Her legs were different lengths which damaged her spine and hips. She stopped playing football, her growth became stunted and she often stayed home to avoid walking. Last year Camila’s family heard about our centre and travelled to La Paz. Our doctor and technicians worked together to create a bespoke prosthetic leg for her, which is helping to realign her spine and relieve her chronic pain.
Camila is now playing football again and is living the normal life of a 16 year old. She wants to be a computer systems engineer, play many musical instruments and sing.