Some years ago, Mayerlinth Reyes was holding her infant at the side of a road when she was struck by a speeding car. The infant sustained massive brain damage, and both of Mayerlinth’s legs had to be amputated. Following her recovery, she received heavy, ill-fitting wooden prosthetics. But last year she heard about Innovación Ortopédica, a prosthetic clinic and partner with Latter-day Saint Charities, where she had the opportunity to receive new prosthetics and a new lease on life.
“Prosthetic limbs aren’t an option for most people because of the cost,” said Danny Lopez, co-founder of the clinic. “Most don’t have insurance, and even if they do, it only covers the cost of the doctor. But with funding from Humanitarian Services, the gift of mobility is extended to 50 people each year. And now we are working with a new material which will let us nearly double the number of prosthetic limbs next year for the same cost.”
Each prosthesis is custom fitted to the individual patient through a series of measurements, leg molds, fabrication, and adjustments. Mayerlinth’s new prosthetic legs were so light that she was walking with only a cane in less than two months.
“Watching a patient put on their new prosthesis and take those first tentative steps brings tears to your eyes,” said Sister Francom, a humanitarian-service missionary. “You see light and hope in their eyes and a smile on their face.”
“This is one of the highlights of our mission: being part of a miracle!” said Elder Michael Francom. “A very important part of the clinic’s work is psychological. They know that without hope the prosthesis will mean very little.”