Life Changing Work in Other Countries.
Each year, Dennis Ebbing, Mechanical Engineer, MBA, CPO, commits a week of his time to “C.R.I.M.A.L.”, Centro de Rehabilitacion Integral de Minusvalidos del Aparato Locomotor,or in English, (Integral Rehabilitation Center for the Disabled of the Musculoskeletal System.) to volunteer as a Prosthetist to provide care to the underprivledged children and adults from all over Mexico. The annual clinic takes place in the city of Queretaro, Mexico, about 3 hours northwest of Mexico City by car.
CARING BY THE NUMBERS CRIMAL DATA:
- Year Founded: 1990
- Age range of people helped: 2-89 years old
- Number of Prostheses build each trip: 20-30
- Types of prosthesis provided: Both upper and lower extremities all types
- Adjustments or modifications to existing Prostheses each session: 20-30 adjustments or replacing minor/major parts of existing prosthesis
- Weight of prosthetic parts taken: 70-90lb.
This humanitarian work allows us to build prosthetic devices for children and adults who have no other means of receiving a prosthetic device. We build, fit, and delivery lower extremity prostheses required for ambulation and upper extremity prostheses required to handle objects and to help perform activities of daily living.
I along with four or five other prosthetist’s from around the country attend this outreach program once a year where we bring along used prosthetic componentry donated either by amputees who may have an old prosthetic device they no longer use, or by families who have donated a loved ones prosthetic device who has passed away. Examples of the components we bring along include: prosthetic feet, titanium pylons and components that allow attachment of the prosthetic foot to the socket (the interface with the residual limb), mechanical knee units, hip joints, ect. These components are extremely valuable in the 3rd world and very expensive even in the United States. A prosthetic foot could cost anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to a maximum of five thousand dollars. Knee units can be just as expensive as wellas all the other highly sophisticated metal alloy parts that go along with a prosthetic device.
It is very important for the community to understand the value of these medical devices and how they can significantly improve the quality of ones life. It is a wonderful gift to allow someone the ability to walk again, or to hold onto an object again with a prosthetic hand.
Two years ago the Daily Freeman, Kingston, New York, published an article about my trip to C.R.I.M.A.L. It drew much attention to our mission to collect used prosthetic devices. In 2002, at C.R.I.M.A.L., we saw over 62 amputees and provided over 40 prosthetic devices in a four-day period. We expect to do the same amount, or more each year. I am working to generate more awareness for this humanitarian effort.
If you require more information on donating a used or un-used prosthesis, please contact one of our office locations. Prostheses can be mailed to one of our office locations or dropped off by appointment. Dennis can also be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org