Yesterday we were able to do two favorite things – sharing training time with our therapy colleagues at Yancana Huasy, and visit the homes of three children we will see in the clinics next week.
I love the Spanish word capacitación, because it speaks to me of building capacity and that is what we are about. Not just doing service ourselves, but building capacity in our Peruvian colleagues and in the occupational therapy students who will join us from St. Catherine University tomorrow. Sammie did the math and between us we have 90 years of experience. It is a joy to share what we have learned with younger generations who can carry it on both in the United States and in Peru.
We focused on measurement of chest symmetry, a highly useful clinical tool for monitoring progress in 24 hour postural care without x-rays. The group practiced on each other, and later in the day Elizabeth Balboa practiced measuring a little girl during one of our home visits. Going forward the Yancana therapists will be able to do measurements and repeat them over time to see how the kids are doing in their postural care programs.
After lunch we were taken on two home visits. The first family has two girls with severe cerebral palsy, ages 3 and 17; both will receive their first wheelchairs next week. They are using night postural care with sleep systems made for them by their mother. The elder daughter has a very complex body shape with severe chest and rib cage distortions and both hips dislocated – one out the back and one out the front. Even with these problems, her mother says she sleeps better at night since they began using supports. The little sister still has a symmetrical body shape. With 24 hour postural care starting early in her life, there is a good chance that her body will not become distorted like her sister’s. Her mother can have hope for a better quality of life for her little one – and that is a wonderful thing.