Today is our last day in Nasca, and for many of the team, the second to last day in Peru. Some of us will stay longer – some for just a few days, others for a couple weeks. The last recipients’ wheelchairs are being finished, and the job of packing up things and deciding what to take back to Lima, what to leave here and what we need to take ourselves is beginning. We rely on having accurate lists of parts and other things that we leave here so that we have a basis for bringing things next year.
Already we have had one very significant success with 24 hour postural care. Giancarlo, a little boy with opisthotonus, came in so we could finish the wheelchair we started for him on Wednesday. On Wednesday, Tamara had given a 45 minute presentation on the importance of night time positioning, which his and others’ parents attended. They thought that Giancarlo moved so much at night that he could not maintain a good supportive position on his back. However, they tried at home for two nights and were able to have Giancarlo well supported for 4 hours after he fell asleep. Amazing! One more person on the road to a better-aligned body. They are excited to do more.
Cielo, a little girl who is a first time wheelchair user, was fascinated with the wheels on her wheelchair. As soon as she was in it, she started moving the wheels and herself. What a joy to see the smile on her face! A true marvel that for the first time in her life she could go where she wanted to under her own power. Also probably a little dangerous as she runs into people and things, learning her limits. The smiles on her face and that of her mother make everything worthwhile.
This is how a wheelchair leaves our clinic. The taxis here are very small. A Tico, like this taxi, is about the height of my hips. I am about 6 feet tall.
Tomorrow we have a long bus ride back to Lima and the Airport. It has been an amazing time, and a great learning experience for everyone.