Limbs for the Limbless

We had a tremendous experience this past Monday!  A partner of LDS Charities is Yayasan Peduli Tuna Daksa (PTD) or Limbs for the Limbless.  I posted about our visit to their facility a couple weeks ago – but we were able to attend a fitting on Monday in Bandung.

So Sunday after Church we took the train to Bandung (I’ll cover the train trip on a separate post).  It was night so we didn’t get to see any of the beautiful Indonesian countryside. That came on the return trip…

So first thing Monday morning, we caught a cab at 8:30 to Bandung Cillilen, a suburb of Bandung (a small village of 3 million).  However, the driver got lost and 2.5 hours later (after 6 stops to ask directions and calling our partner 4 times and getting to see a LOT of Bandung, which of course was not part of the plan), we finally arrived.  When we walked into what was basically a ‘community center’ or town hall-like meeting place, we were in the middle of a ceremony and the speaker was the governors wife. Immediately, they stopped, everyone stood up and we were escorted to the front row and sat us down!  It was as though we were expected, which we found out later, we were.

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The sign says: West Bandung County Health Forum   The Zakiyyah Foundation Charity Program    Installation of Free False Legs and Hands.

the Zakiyyah Foundation is a local group that works with people in the area and helps put them in touch with the charities that can help them with what they need – limbs, hearing aids, cleft palate surgery, cataract surgery, etc.  Sequis Insurance is the major donor to PDT to help pay for the limbs.  The government pays for some limbs, but not very many, so donors are needed.  LDS Charities is the other donor and we are glad our name was not on the T-shirts that you see in the pics (“From Disabled to Abled”).

When she finished speaking, two limb recipients were brought out and they wanted us to give them their limbs!  We absolutely try NOT to have any of our work be about us, but Indonesians always want to make a big deal out of the “bule” (a white person) so we really had no choice.

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DeeAnn ceremonially putting on a leg
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The second recipient
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DeeAnn with the little girl and the governors wife

Then after the ceremony, EVERYONE wanted a photo with us.  It’s really almost embarrassing – we are treated like rock stars, and everyone wants their picture taken with us.  This has been going on since we got here, but especially today – all day, people would come up and want their picture taken – some just wanted to take a picture with us and they didn’t even have a camera!

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They were so excited to get their pic taken!
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Take my word for it – EVERYONE wants in!
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Ok – enough 
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So I took one of them taking pics of us!

So after the ceremony, we went with our host to watch the fitting of limbs.

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Saiyid, our host and an employee of PTD

PTD had been Bandung a few weeks before to measure people who needed limbs, then manufactured them in Jakarta and today returned to fit them to the individuals.

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DeeAnn talking to Saiyid

It was a terrific experience to watch this and see many people getting their first limb and others (mostly kids) getting replacement limbs because they have outgrown theirs.  This is absolutely life changing for these folks!  It was so humbling to see this happening.

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Ready for distribution – AK (above the knee) and BK (below the knee)

The pictures don’t really do the experience the justice it deserves, but here goes:

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A new arm
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A 10-year-old getting a leg
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She’s 14 and getting her 2nd leg!  Mom is also thrilled!
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A crowded and busy work area
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Getting a new arm
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Learning to put on the new leg

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This little guy is getting his first leg!  The ‘mug shot’ approach is to make sure the manufactured leg gets with the correct patient.

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With a new leg
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My buddy Sariono – he lost a leg in a bus accident 24 years ago
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His original foot – the toes are worn off.  He was here to get a new foot
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His new foot!

Today was a wonderful experience and so satisfying to see the good work and difference that a modest amount of money can make in people’s lives.  We are so grateful to be a part of this work and to see firsthand the effect this can have and does have have on people’s lives.  Thank you LDS Charities!

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