New Hands and Feet

In the US, artificial limbs are extremely expensive. In north India, most patients have absolutely no way of obtaining such a luxury. At Herbertpur Christian Hospital, they have made a way around this by making their own artificial limbs and braces. A team of people, including an orthopedic therapist and a craftsman, start by making a custom mold to fit the person’s needed leg or arm. Then they purchase special moldable plastic in various thicknesses. Each limb is cast to the specific measurements of the patient to ensure a good fit, and they can always customize the fit later. In this way, they enable the lame to walk and give the appearance of a hand where there was none.

They also form custom leg braces for those who need support due to crooked limbs or cerebral palsy. They make a cast of the legs, create a mold and heat it, then wrap the plastic around it to form the brace. Straps are added and everything is customized. These braces provide skeletal support but also correction for those whose feet are turned or whose legs are not straight.

Another division of skilled carpenters build these adjustable chairs for people with disabilities. The parent of the blessed child who receives one of these chairs can move the height of the seat, the tray, and the footrest. It rests on wheels so the child can be moved around the house, even if he or she is a teenager. The headrest with side padding helps those who struggle to hold their head upright. The receipt of a chair like this changes the lives of both the disabled child and the parents who care for him or her.