First prosthesis brings new opportunities

Violet stands in colourful shirt and shorts, using crutches to help her stand with her first prosthesis. Her mother sits behind her. Both are smiling brightly.

“Her smile says it all…she looks so happy with her prosthesis … It reminds me of the first time I had my first prosthetic fitting,” says Almah of the National Orthotic and Prosthetic Service (NOPS) in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Violet, age 6, is an amputee from Kompiam, a small district in the remote highlands of PNG. Kompiam is many hours from the services Violet needs to be assessed and fitted with her new prosthesis.

In July 2020, Solo and Almah from NOPS in Port Moresby conducted outreach to the region and paid Violet a visit. During their visit, they assessed Violet to be fitted with a prosthesis.

Until this time, Violet has relied on crutches to get around. While the crutches allow her to remain active and to get from A to B with some independence, she hasn’t been able to attend school. Violet’s mother says that once Violet has her new prosthesis she will be able to go to school.

Violet, a young girl in a colourful dress and with a leg amputation, uses crutches to stand next to her mother. Both smile brightly.
Violet sits on top of a picnic table in the same colourful dress. Almah, a woman in a service uniform, sits next to her with a clipboard of notes. They both smile at the camera.

After Violet was assessed for her new prosthesis Almah, an amputee herself, showed Violet her prosthetic leg and Violet was shocked. Almah recalls the moment with much emotion.

I hugged her tight and told her after you have your new prosthesis, you need to go to school and get a job … maybe one day you could work with me!

Violet smiled at Almah, filling her with joy.

Solo has now finished preparing Violet’s prosthesis and she’s had her final fitting. Her parents are relieved that she’s able to walk independently with her new prosthesis, and doesn’t need to be carried by them or use her crutches.

It’s fantastic to hear how our partner’s services are making a positive impact in the lives of their communities. We wish Violet all the best for her future and for her first day of many at her new school!

Violet stands on her new prosthesis without any extra support, she is wearing a colourful shirt and shorts and smiles brightly at the camera.

Acknowledgements

MA would like to acknowledge the team at Kompiam Hospital, especially Dr David and Dr Rebecca, for making the initial trip to see Violet happen. Also Almah and Solo and the staff of NOPS for their dedication and service.

These opportunities would not be possible without the continued support of our members, to who we are always grateful. Find out how you can support more children like Violet by becoming a member or making a one time donation.