Local Lab Helps Haitian Amputees

By Chris Gordon
|  Wednesday, May 12, 2010  |  Updated 8:19 PM EDT
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Helping Haiti Amputees

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Helping Haiti Amputees

A Bethesday company, Hanger Prosthetics, is changing the lives of those that lost limbs in the quake in Haiti.
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A local lab that specializes in making artificial limbs is helping Haitian amputees who suffered severe injuries in January's devastating earthquake.

The Hanger Orthopedic group in Bethesda, Md., is playing a major role in the effort to restore mobility to the earthquake survivors.

The destruction and death toll was devastating, and the Haitian earthquake left suffering behind that will last a lifetime. Haitians young and old lost limbs and needed medical care they can't afford, but since February they have been getting help.

Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics is a partner in the Haitian Amputation Clinic. Anna Avakian, 29, has volunteered to serve a three-month rotation as the lead technician on a team of Americans and Haitians working out of the Albert Schweitzer Hospital about 60 miles from Port-au-Prince.

"I am excited about being able to make a difference, being part of a team that is already down there helping Haitians," she said.

More than 13,000 pounds of equipment and machinery has been shipped to the clinic. The Hanger Ivan R. Sabel Foundation has carried much of the $450,000 cost, but contributions from the public are appreciated. If you are interested, click here.

The medical need in Haiti will last for years, and the commitment to help them is long term.

One look at their faces will tell you that they have been given more than new limbs, they have been given back their smiles.

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