Thursday, August 16, 2012

CAMP JAKE :: PT with Maille

Maille during one of her physical therapy sessions
with Jake (photo by Howard Chen)
CAMP JAKE / JULY 2012 :: Meet Maille, one of the sweetest girls at St. Vincent's. She is very caring, often more concerned about others than herself. She is talkative—communicating in Kreyol, English and sign language—with the most memorable smile and hugs to match. Maille is exceptionally bright and has great charisma and love for life, an amazing attitude for all that she has endured in her short life.

Abandoned at the gate of St. Vincent's at the age of 10, Maille is a permanent resident who remembers nothing of her days before joining the St. Vincent's family. She suffers from severe scoliosis and is also an earthquake survivor who suffered a traumatic head wound. Her injuries were so severe that a group of rescuers who had already gone through the debris at St. Vincent's left her for dead. Determined to save everyone, other St. Vincent's residents flagged down some people from the street to pull her out of the rubble. Maille was transported to a boat where her surgery was performed to close the wound on her head.

During camp, Jake McCrowell—a Physician's for Peace physical therapist—worked one-on-one with Maille, teaching her exercises that would build stability and control of her lower limbs. These physical therapy exercises should enhance her core and impact her daily life in significant ways by:
  • easing transfers from the wheelchair
  • improve her function while performing activities out of the wheelchair such as dressing and bathing
  • reducing the stress on her back by sitting more upright and extended
  • education of pressure relief for various body parts caused by prolonged wheelchair use
Maille smiled through the exercises and kept a positive attitude even when Jake pushed her out of her comfort zone. It is our hope that she continues these exercises and strengthens her body. We look forward to seeing Maille's progress during our visits to St. Vincent's throughout 2012 and next year at Camp Jake 2013.

Tom and his new buddy (photo by Howard Chen)

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