Imagine losing an arm or leg, what that would mean for your independence, your family, your ability to continue working. Fortunately, it doesn't always have to be so dire – modern prosthetics, or artificial limbs, are more widely available than ever and are pretty darn good at replacing that limb.
However for those who can't afford them it's a different story, and that was the case for Mukhtar in Pakistan after he was hit by a truck and lost his leg above the knee. That's where our partner charity Take My Hands comes in, zooming medical equipment around the world to those in need. Their Manager Janette Searle shares the story of getting Mukhtar a new leg all the way from little old NZ.
Driving in Pakistan is like dicing with death on a daily basis. Hazards you might encounter on your way to work include everything from the speeding Mercedes, motorcycles with the whole family strapped on, to one wheeled donkey carts and landmines … and that’s just on one stretch of road. Needless to say, road accidents are one of the main causes of major injury and leg amputation in Pakistan.
Mukhtar Ahmed was involved in one such accident. He was hit by a truck and ended up losing his leg above the knee. After amputation he received a conventional heavy leg made of wood, which quickly became problematic, causing excessive pain and offering only limited mobility.
With hopes of getting his mobility back he visited the HOPE Center, where he was provided with a new above-the-knee modular leg free of cost. Because of this, he has been able to regain his mobility and continue earning his living as a barber.
The leg that Mukhtar received was donated by us here at Take My Hands, and came all the way from New Zealand. Since 2010, we’ve been working with the Hope Rehabilitation Society in Pakistan to provide artificial limbs and equipment, which have been used to help over 150 people.
When we looked into our impact of providing these limbs we realised a few things. One – it had only cost us a few hundred dollars to send those first few shipments. Two – we had sent nearly 1000kg of equipment to the Hope Center, and three – the value of the impact on the people who had received our artificial limbs, not only in terms of saving on the cost of the limb, but in their ability to return to a normal life, was nearly $1 million dollars.
It was that impact that encouraged us to go on and create the Take My Hands we have today, and it is that impact that encourages us to keep growing the work that we do.
Over June and July we will be sending another shipment of prosthetic (artificial limbs), orthotic and general medical equipment to the Hope Rehabilitation Society for them to use in their Limbs for All programme.
To all our One Percent Collective donors who support our work – your dollars will help us with that shipment, and in a few months we’ll be able to start showing you the people that have been helped as a result of your one percent.
Until then, travel safe my friends!
– Janette Searle
Take My Hands rehomes usable medical equipment from NZ to people and places where there is a need in the Asia Pacific region. They’re a partner charity with One Percent Collective, meaning you can sign up to support them with 1% of your income, so go on, click below to learn more and give your 1%!