This morning started with some excitement for the True North team. Freddy, one of True North’s star patients from last year’s mission, stopped by for a surprise visit with his family at the Santa Ines Hospital. For those who may not remember, Freddy had his right leg amputated below the knee by the True North team after previously having a total of 48 surgeries on his leg. During his visit, Freddy stated he no longer suffers from any pain! He is able to wear his prosthetic leg for the whole day (which is no small feat) and is currently working part-time so he can pay for his last year of school, where he is studying marketing.
An area Freddy excelled in during his treatment with True North was his exercises with the physiotherapy team. Physiotherapy is one of the last teams seen by the True North patients and is absolutely crucial. Patients are taught precautions to protect their hips and how they can transfer independently and safely. Four hours after patients leave the OR, the physiotherapy team get them up and out of their beds – teaching them how to walk with a walker or crutches and how to properly take-on the stairs. They are also provided exercises to conduct at home and have to re-learn something we easily take for granted – how to go to the bathroom.
The physiotherapy team leaves a lasting impression on their patients and have even inspired one of last year’s patients to become a physiotherapist herself. After receiving a successful PAO surgery during the 2017 mission, Yamile is currently volunteering for True North as a translator and has expressed her desire to help others like her. Yamile states she knows that many patients are not able to communicate because of the language barrier and wants to help True North maintain their standard of care regardless. Similar to Freddy, Yamile no longer suffers from any pain and thanks the True North team almost every day for helping her with her hip.
After scheduling 9 surgeries and then adding an additional one for a local Cuenca woman who dislocated her hip, the True North Missions Society has conducted 28 surgeries so far this year!
Stay tuned to see what True North takes on tomorrow.
The TNMS Team