Today we got to spend our first full day in the clinic!
This was a very important day because we had to take all of the castings of the kids’ legs so that we can start the orthotics manufacturing process. We got up nice and early so that we could start by 8:30am. We were split up into groups that each had Penn students, Poly U students, Poly U alumni, and a European Poly U intern to work together to see about 8 cases each. The clinic was packed between all of us, the patients, their parents, and local media that came to take pictures and write about our trip. It was quite the spectacle. We definitely stuck out, and several parents even asked to take pictures with us.
None of the patients spoke English, so the Poly U students took the lead in taking the medical history and communicating with them. We helped examine the patients’ current gait and recorded many measurements of their feet, ankles, and legs.
Some of the kids were very nervous and needed to be distracted while we took the casts. I tried to make one boy stop crying by blowing bubbles for him. Some parents even took out their smartphones and had their kids play games or watch cartoons – I’ve definitely seen parents do that back home!
It was a very exciting day, and I can’t wait to see the difference the orthotics are going to make in the way all of these kids walk!