Day one complete! We had the chance to tour the beautiful facility. Pictures to follow this week. We then met the local prosthetists and physical therapists followed by the patients we will be treating during the trip. All of these individuals are amazing! The therapists and prosthetists are eager to learn and the patients are ready to run and/or advance their activity levels. Some of the patients are already Paralympic athletes in various sports and would like add running to their training regiment. Some of the individuals are part of the Ukrainian military and others are very active Ukrainian civilians. We had the chance to evaluate their current prosthesis and create a team game plan for the trip. Although we live far apart, one thing is the same: individuals with limb loss LOVE to wear sandals. :-) If you do not know, a prosthetic foot shell does not typically have a space between the first and second toes to allow individuals to wear most sandals. If individuals have enough funds, they can purchase a split toe foot shell. Otherwise, they have to cut the typical shell or find a way to keep another sandal in place without a toe spacer. In the states, we often use Velcro to hold it in place. A Ukrainian SEAL arrived with this set up today. He used a shoe lace to tie it into place. I thought sandal wearing was just an obsession amongst Americans with limb loss, but clearly, I was wrong! :-) Tomorrow we teach a bit more and the prosthetists cast the patients to start creating the new limbs! Stay tuned!
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