Author Topic: Haiti Earthquake Victim Amputee's  (Read 3061 times)

Offline anne f.

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Haiti Earthquake Victim Amputee's
« on: January 15, 2010, 04:44:10 PM »
I have been watching the news on the Haiti earthquake all day and they are reporting so many people losing limbs after being crushed and trapped by debris.  This brings back a flood of feelings for me as I lost my leg in a tornado.  The difference being that although the rescue vehicles had to pick their way through the rubble to get to me, I was still at modern hospital within a couple of hours whereas these poor people in Haiti are having to wait for days now in the sweltering heat with no food or water.
I remember going into shock and having people around me trying to help by stopping the bleeding and keeping me warm while we waited for the ambulance, I can't imagine if someone had told me, "Well the UN will be sending in help, it should reach us in a couple of days!" these poor people, life was already a struggle for most of them due to poverty and now this.

As an amputee I feel like I want to help all the new amputee's this situation has created. I wonder what will happen to all these people, will they ever get fitted for legs and arms?

Offline Dick Stevens

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Re: Haiti Earthquake Victim Amputee's
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2010, 01:08:40 AM »
Anne f:

Seeing that you lost your limb in such a traumatic event, I can see how the tragedy in Haiti is hitting home to you.

In this evening's news we saw a young woman who was rescued from under a building - very grateful to be alive - but who lost a leg to amputation.  From the smile on her face, you can tell she considers herself as one of the fortunate ones.  Another tribute to our human resilience in the face of adversity.

Dick Stevens, DBKA in PA

Offline herb

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Re: Haiti Earthquake Victim Amputee's
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2010, 10:23:04 AM »
Hi Dick - here is a link to a today show video about a young woman from the US who lost her leg in Haiti. It may be the same story you saw. There also is an article about her on MSNBC. She is in amazing spirits considering what she has just been through.

Offline Dick Stevens

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Re: Haiti Earthquake Victim Amputee's
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2010, 01:55:44 PM »

Yes, Krista is the same young woman I saw on the news.  That MSNBC says it all.  Let her be an inspiration to all who face amputation,  Clearly, she doesn't let this missing limb defione her whole being.

But then, when we consider her caring character that brought her to Haiti in the first place -- a mission to help adults with literacy.  Her contining concern for the in jured people in Haiti, even as she recuperates.

Thanks, Krista, for being the caring person that you are.   :)
Dick Stevens, DBKA in PA

Offline bruce mpls

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Re: Haiti Earthquake Victim Amputee's
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2010, 10:26:44 AM »
anne/others..............hi, i'm new to this site, looking for ways to help recent amputees from quake in haiti. are you interested in communicating about this effort? any others out there......please jump in if you have any contacts/ideas. allow me [ BRUCE ] to paint a picture of what i see. a large group of highly motivated amputees from around the world head for haiti [within next 1-2months] to inspire/help in any way.....these recent amputees.  who can see themselves in that picture?............please respond.

i live in U.S.
left arm amputee [accident....three yrs ago]
tsunami/katrina humanitarian relief volunteer
military veteran                                                                                                                    P E A C E

Offline tbrbeast

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Re: Haiti Earthquake Victim Amputee's
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2010, 06:34:56 PM »
The following is copied from the latest edition of the amp-I Digest which I received yesterday.

I am trying this again, because when I saw this post, it was jumbled up, and can't figure out why this happens.  Sorry if you have seen this already, but since I got no replies or responses to this, I figured that nobody was able to see this email yesterday.

In 2003 I started a not-for-profit organization called "Prosthetic Limbs for the Dominican Republic", and also got the 501(c)(3) tax status. 

As we have all heard and seen on the news, there are many amputations taking place in Haiti now, due to crush injuries, fractures that have been left untreated, lacerations and infections.  This is a country that already had a huge need for support and aid in the area of prosthetics.

I lived in the Dominican Republic for a couple years back in the mid-80's, and know the culture, language and all about that country.  I also noticed the needs for prosthetics 25 years ago, and the situation there is still the same.  That is why I went back there in 2003 to explore the reality and ability to make prosthetic limbs there for those in need.

I lost my leg in an accident in 1998, which pushed me into the field of prosthetics, leaving behind my career in Pathology.  I attended the Cal State Dominguez Hills program for prosthetics in 1999 and then in 2003 opended my own facility in Indiana.  It was in that same year I also started the not-for-profit in the Dominican Republic.

I share that with you so that you know of my passion and reason for working in that country.  This country shares the island of Hispanola with Haiti.  I have spoken with my contacts in Santo Domingo about the situation there.  They are allowing some Haitians to travel to the Domincan Republic for medical treatments, and will also be working with some of the amputees there in Santo Domingo.

I am preparing another trip there in a couple weeks, and what I need is whatever kind of items that anyone might have laying around not being used.  If anyone has decent feet, knees, arm parts, hooks, hands, etc. that can be re-used for someone in Haiti or the Dom Rep, you can ship them to my office in Indiana, and I will clean them, refurbish them (have my staff assist in this of course), and then personally take them to Santo Domingo in a few weeks.  If possible, I can also drive them into Haiti to a facility there if they are up and running at that point.  As I have heard, the facility there near Port au Prince was damaged, but not totally destroyed.  But, there are safety concerns and issues that will have to be considered before driving these goods into Haiti.  But, even if they get to Santo Domingo to the office where I work, they can be kept there until it is safe to go to Haiti, or until the facility in Haiti is up and running again. 

Please email me at if you have any items to donate, so that I can be sure that it is re-useable and so we are not wasting money for shipping items that really cannot be used. 

Of course the "Prosthetic Limbs for the Dominican Republic" could always use money or donations, but that is not what I need the most at this time.....components are more important.  Anything donated can be claimed on taxes, and I can/will provide you with the tax number so you can claim that deduction.

You can check out my website, which has a link to the work in the Dominican Republic and photos of some of the people I have been able to help. .  It is not a big fancy site, but it is enough to identify who I am and the business, and also some of the work that I do outside of my office.

Thanks to everyone,

Jim DeWees, CP
Prosthetic Center of Indiana
321 E. Winslow Rd
Bloomington, IN 47401



"Prosthetic Limbs for the Dominican Republic"

 I think that this may at least partially respond to you Bruce.