Some text about Richard



Richard (#308) was 15 when he had a wound on his ankle that wouldn’t heal, his father took him to the hospital where they opened up the wound and found he had a cancerous tumour in his leg, the doctors were too nervous to operate on it so they just left the wound open, Richards family were too poor to take him to another doctor so he just had to wait, after 3 weeks it was so severely infected the doctors had to amputate Richards leg above the knee. Richard was then unable to attend school and the family are very poor, they only have enough land to grow food to feed their immediate family and Richard felt terrible that he couldn’t work or help his family. He had to wait until his father could save enough money for him to travel to La Paz to attend the clinic. However, once Richard reached our clinic he met 3 other young people with above knee amputations and we watched Richard change completely. He had not socialized with anyone outside his family for 7 years so was shy, timid and unsure how to behave, but in 5 days with 2 beautiful vibrant girls from Tarija and an ex-boxer/model from Cochabamba he was a completely different young man.  He had a haircut, got some new clothes, went out for lunch, smiled, joked and laughed like he was getting his teen years back. We played volleyball, did obstacle courses, went round the block stopping ice cream and sitting in the sun all to get used to the new prosthesis and to gain confidence being out and about with the new prosthesis. In fact he had so much fun he didn’t want to leave!