At the workshop with Jose we were able to completely finish 2 standing frames in the morning. And the other two are within an hour or so of being finished. It is great to watch as Jose learns and begins taking ownership of the steps involved in the process. He has a lot of experience as a carpenter and has made several good suggestions, including devising a way to ensure the backboard and the stability beam are parallel. While we were working, Evelyn walked by who is a neighbor from a block down the street. Jose introduced me to her to me because she has an 8 year old son named Yamil who has cerebral palsy. About 3 months ago Jose tried to make Yamil a standing contraption from his own exercise equipment. The stander he made functions in the sense that Yamil is able to get upright, but was not very comfortable or useful in practice because it did not have good support in areas that Yamil required. It was the best he could do with limited knowledge about cerebral paslsy and the purposes of standing therapy, and a noble effort at that. I drove down the street, and picked Yamil up and drove him to the shop. He promptly became the first child to use our newly constructed frames, before they even left the workshop! I told them we had a scheduled therapist training session at Qumi at 3:30pm and they agreed to come as example patients. So we all headed over to Qumi with myself and standing frames in the back seat, and Jose, Evelyn and Yamil all upfront.
The therapist session was amazing. With 2 standing frames and 2 patients and their mothers, 2 physical therapist, an occupational therapist an emotional therapist, myself and Jose we reviewed the benefits, indications, and contraindications a of standing therapy. Then Julia and I summarized the missions of SWM and LMR and the goals for the standing frame collaboration. I introduced our system of forms that help is keep track of patients and information. Then we practiced filling out the new patient form together with the therapists for each patient. We then got the patients to the standing frame. It was great because Yamil is at the taller end of the frames capacity, and Alexander (age 1yr 9 m) is on the smaller end, so we really showed off the adaptability of our stander and the therapist got to practice fitting the children to the frame.
Story of Alexander: About 2.5 months ago Alexander’s mother asked their physical therapist Maritza, where she could get a standing frame for Alexander. Maritza didn't know anywhere they were available, so she then asked Mesa del Reino if they knew anywhere standing brand could be purchased or found in Lima. Nobody knew. They decided to pray about it not knowing what else do do. Just five days later is when they received the email from Stand With Me offering to come to Lima and help make standing frames. How fitting that Alexander his mother and their PT Maritza could all be there and receive one of the first standing frames made in Lima. Alexanders mother did a brief interview about our standing frame, how difficult it is to find one in Lima and how much better ours is then the one she was able to have built just before our arrival. I will post the video as soon as I have a chance to translate it.
Both children went home and now have their own standing frame in their house that their mothers are excited about and that will provide them adequate support to to proper standing therapy at home.