The students speak

Tonight we have a guest post from the four occupational therapy students who have joined the EP team for the past two weeks. Molly, Tessa, Sara and Krystal have been invaluable contributors.

Two weeks ago tomorrow we, four occupational therapy students and our professor, prepared for a trip to Peru.  Our purpose was to assist Eleanore’s Project in their mission to improve the quality of life for children with disabilities and their families.

What we knew was that we would be spending most of our waking hours customizing wheelchairs for children.  What we didn’t know was the impact we would have on their lives or, even more, the impact they would have on our lives.

Over these past two weeks we have gained an appreciation and understanding of how proper seating and positioning can allow someone to engage and participate in the world around them.  We watched children who have been carried their entire lives propel a wheelchair independently.  Even with a language barrier, the smiles on their faces made it clear that this was a monumental moment in their lives.

Tackling the mechanics of a wheelchair is not an easy task but with the guidance of the occupational therapy professionals with whom we worked, we have come a long way.  We are so appreciative of their patience as we learned through trial and error [emphasis on error].  On an even greater level, the professionals we worked with demonstrated the ability to problem solve and think creatively.  They taught us that the “wheelchair is like a puzzle” and any piece can be inverted, flipped, or reversed to achieve the desired outcome.

This trip has truly been a life changing experience. It is something that we will always carry with us on both a personal and professional level.  We would like to thank the members of Eleanore’s Project for allowing us to be a part their team.

With gratitude,

Molly Wadsworth, Krystal Tschumperlin, Tessa Berg and Sara Ibberson

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