While on her usual morning walk to buy food for her family, Candita Montero was struck by a car, knocked to the ground, and run over. An ambulance rushed Candita to the hospital in time to save her life, but her left leg was so badly damaged that it was amputated below the knee. When Candita describes the accident she says it changed her life “in the blink of an eye.” Fortunately, the car’s driver helped pay for some of her medical expenses, including a simple prosthesis. But over time the cup that connected her knee to the prosthetic leg became so loose that she could no longer use it. A physical therapist referred Candita to Mano a Mano to see if we could help with a new prosthesis. And we did. Candita now walks with ease and comfort. She told us that now she is able to cook, wash clothes, take care of her children and supplement the family’s income by selling home-made soft drinks from the front of her house. She sends thanks to everyone who helped her walk again.

The Prosthesis Program That Helped Candita

Volunteer Elias Mamani with a prosthetic limb he just completed as part of our collaborative prosthesis program with Iglesia Filadelfia.

In 2017, Mano a Mano Internacional and Iglesia Filadelfia, the Cochabamba church to which several Mano a Mano staff belong, developed a specialized prosthetics program. This program receives referrals of individuals who cannot afford the $2,000-$15,000 that other healthcare settings charge for the purchase and fitting of an artificial limb. Mano a Mano ships many of the needed materials, and occasionally a donated prosthetic limb, from Minnesota. Filadelfia’s trained volunteers assess the patient’s specific needs, then form the required prosthesis. These talented professionals cut and shape plaster, fiberglass, cloth and other materials to create the prosthetic limb and socket, carefully select hinges that attach these pieces to each other, mold the socket to fit the patient, and ensure that the final product is functional, safe, and comfortable.

Last year this volunteer-managed program provided prosthetic limbs for 12 individuals, giving each of them the opportunity to live more independent lives.

Learn More About Mano a Mano’s Recovered Resources Program