I truly believe that our organization makes forward progress every day. We use every day to take a step forward in our mission, whether it be in the United States, Central America, or elsewhere.
Today, we completed the greatest single step forward in our mission since the inception of Bump (or IPT before it). We completed the launch of the OpenSocket, a device that makes quality prosthetic care more accessible for people with below-elbow amputations than it has ever been before.
Today we fit seven more patients with the OpenSocket prosthesis in El Salvador working with an organization called Teletón. These 7 patients bring us to a grand total of 30 people who have been provided the OpenSocket over the past 20 days. Before this trip, there were 8 users of the OpenSocket in Guatemala, and with these new patients, plus 2 new patients in India, we now have 40 individuals using the OpenSocket worldwide.
Today's work was an appropriate way to bring this trip to a close. The 7 patients we worked with had a wide variety of levels of amputation from very long to very short, and from very fleshy to extremely thin. We even had a patient with a bilateral amputation (which means that we actually distributed 8 OpenSockets today for 31 total prostheses).
We arrived at the clinic around 8:30 am this morning, and we were the last ones to leave the building (besides the security guard). As we worked, we not only fit patients ourselves, be also trained the two of the prosthetic technicians at Teletón to fit the OpenSocket. These two technicians actually ended up performing two of the fittings themselves!
A constant theme among the patients today was how light the device is, and how useful the new type of terminal device (hand) we use can be. Each of the patients quickly adopted the device, and was using it well by the end of the day.
Today's major step was not solely the result of one day's work, but rather the culmination of months of focused preparation, and a major milestone in the 4 years our team has been working together. Many, many people worked very hard to make this month's accomplishments a reality. Jonathan, Ehsan, Dylan, and I feel very blessed to be the ones who directly carried out this launch in the field, but we know it would not have been possible without al of the original founders of our organization, our Board of Directors, all our volunteers, and the many people who believed in us from the start. Thanks to all of you on behalf of our patients!
The most rewarding part of this month's work is the fact that it will only be the beginning. By working with more than 8 different nongovernmental and governmental organizations, we are poised to deploy many more OpenSockets through these strong local allies. At the end of the day, this means more people will be able to access quality prosthetic care, which is what we're all about.
Tomorrow is the last day of this trip for Ehsan, Dylan, and I, but it is only the beginning of our plans to provide the OpenSocket all over the world.