Patient – Richard’s Botched Surgery

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Patient – Richard’s Botched Surgery

Richard on his first day

Richard on his first day

When Richard was fifteen, he had a wound on his ankle that wouldn’t heal.  Richard’s father took him to the hospital where they opened the wound and found he had a cancerous tumor in his leg.  The doctors were too inexperienced to operate so they just left the wound open. Richard’s family was too poor to take him to another doctor, so he just waited to see if it improved. After three weeks, it was so severely infected that the doctors had to amputate Richard’s leg above the knee. Richard was then unable to attend school, and he felt felt terrible that he couldn’t work or help to support his family.

After seven years, Richard’s family found out about our partner’s prosthetic Center, FUNPROBO, in Bolivia. However, Richard had to wait until his father could save enough money for him to travel to La Paz for an examination at the Center.

Richard playing volleyball with other patients

Richard playing volleyball with other patients

Once he arrived, he met three other young people with above-knee amputations, and Richard’s persona changed immediately. Richard had not socialized with anyone outside his family for seven years, so he was rather shy, timid and unsure how to behave. Within five days, he and three other amputees, including two beautiful vibrant girls from Tarija and an ex-boxer/model from Cochabamba, Richard was a completely different young man. He cut his hair, purchased a few new clothes, went out for lunch, smiled, joked and laughed like he was getting his teenage years back. At the Center, as part of his physical therapy, Richard played volleyball (VIDEO), did obstacle courses, walked around the block for ice cream and sat in the sun. All of these activities helped Richard to get accustomed to his new prosthesis and to gain confidence on his own two legs. In fact, Richard had so much fun that he didn’t want to leave.

If you think that people like Richard deserve another chance at life, then their only hope is you. Please consider a(nother) donation here to help the ‘next’ Richard.

Richard running the Physical therapy obstacle course

Richard running the Physical therapy obstacle course

Richard practicing walking down stairs on his new prosthetic leg

Richard practicing walking down stairs on his new prosthetic leg


About Author

Matthew

Founder and president

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