The following is an e-postcard from Sandra Dickison, a GlobalGiving Representative in the Philippines.
Traveling over 6 hours, Pampanga resident Joey brought her 4 year-old daughter, Princess, to the Dr. Jesus A. Datu Medical Clinic on June 25th. When we first met Princess she seemed like a typical kid - shy around foreigners, close to her mother, and tired from the journey. However, Princess was born without a foot and on Tuesday, at the Clinic, she was being fitted for her first prosthetic which would allow her to walk and play with the other kids in her town.
Ana and I had the opportunity to visit the Dr. Jesus A. Datu Medical Clinic which is supported by the Love for Life Foundation of Philippine American Physicians in America. The clinic provides an array of basic medical services to the poor from the Pampanaga region which is north of Manila. From cataract surgeries to a birthing center, the Clinic is run by a dedicated staff and supported by volunteer doctors.
We spent the morning visiting with staff and nurses, learning about the 30+ cataract surgeries they had already performed – free of charge – to residents in the area. Robbie and Jerome, the prosthetic technicians, gave us a tour of the prosthetic lab where they cast, mold, and create prosthetic legs which are free to those who need them. Robbie himself was also a recipient of a prosthetic leg.
Throughout the morning, during our meetings and tour, people were already arriving for the bi-monthly prosthetic screening which would begin at 2:00. Many, like Joey and Princess, traveled a great distance and waited for hours in the hot room meet with the doctor. Ana and I visited with patients and all of them were smiling, excited to be at the Clinic and ready to get fitted for a prosthetic. Young and old, by the time the screening began about 40 people were in line to be fitted.
While Ana and I were impressed by the Clinic’s organization and services, we were blown away by their dedication to the community. Observing the screening, we could not help but think how Princess’ life would change with the help of the Clinic and the Love for Life Foundation.
Ana with Joey and her family
The technicians showing us the prosthetic
The nurses in the cataract surgery room
Receiving instructions before prosthetic fittings
The technicians in front of the foot molds