Two More Flags


Sudeep and I started our day in Managua by visiting two organizations: SHIA Nicaragua and Vision Inclusiva. Both organizations work towards developing the support system and opportunities for people with disabilities in the country. We spoke with them about their potential involvement in organizing a periodic OpenSocket clinic for Nicaragua and our idea was well received.

After these meetings we headed to Teleton-Pipitos, which is a transnational organization that provides rehabilitation services to children with disabilities in Nicaragua. There we met 17 year-old Hector Chevez, who lost his arm when he encountered an unexploded ordinance from the war in his field. We deployed an OpenSocket with Hector, which will replace his current prosthesis that is old and no longer fits him.

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Leaving Teleton-Pipitos we headed to the largest market in Central America – Mercado Oriental. Due to security concerns we left the market immediately and headed over to another artisan market where we bought a flag of Nicaragua to hang in our studio in the United States. It is exciting to think that we have added two more flags to our collection in the past week – meaning that Bump has made an impact on two additional countries, and most importantly, several more amputees who needed a prosthetic arm.

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We had some great fried cheese, beans, and plantains for dinner, and now are calling it a day, hoping for a reprieve from the ants that attacked us last night as we slept in our budget hotel room. Hope the cockroach spray worked….

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First OpenSocket in Nicaragua

Yesterday was Jon & Sudeep's first full day in Nicaragua. They sent us an awesome email in the afternoon and I feel compelled to share the email with all of you. Enjoy!

It's Sudeep. Jon is too lazy to type (Sudeep is lying, I am proofreading now. Plus it is really hot here). We did not end up going to Leon today because that meeting was moved to Thursday; instead we stayed in Managua and met with CAPADIFE. We fit a patient named Javier with no hiccups. He lost his arm from a TNT blast when he was a soldier in the army and was very excited to get a new prosthesis. The staff at the clinic were super enthusiastic and engaged and very competent.
Now, we are headed out to explore the great city of Managua. Here are some pictures from the fitting. Blog about it. Thanks.

-Sudeep for Jon.

Click on a thumbnail below to see a larger image.

Dear Sudeep, please tell Jon that I blogged "about it". Thanks, Ehsan.

Fitting Carlos with the OpenSocket Prosthetic Arm

On one of the last days of our recent trip to Central America, we worked with Teleton-Funter in El Salvador to fit 7 patients with the OpenSocket prosthetic arm. Carlos was one of the patients we worked with at Teleton. Unlike most of the people we ran into in Central America, Carlos spoke English very well, so we asked him to share his thoughts on his new prosthesis. 

We're very thankful to Carlos for all of his good comments. He was very excited about how well the OpenSocket worked for him, and was eager to help us promote it so that others could receive the same technology.

In our eyes, this video illustrates our commitment to creating and delivering technology that is not simply "good enough" for people who cannot afford better, but is instead a high-quality, useful device that makes prosthetic care much more accessible. 

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OpenSockets in Sierra Leone

A few months ago we got in touch with a group of prosthetists from the Rehabilitation Institute of Indianapolis who were headed to Sierra Leone. This group was taking equipment to construct and fit several leg prostheses, and they were interested to use the OpenSocket to do some arm fittings.

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In early February, Sudeep and I traveled to Indianapolis to train the team, and last week they departed on their journey to Africa.

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James, the team leader, has been keeping us updated on their progress, and we've been keeping a close eye on their instagram feed. We're excited to report that they have successfully deployed the first OpenSockets on the African Continent!

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Over the last few days, the team has performed several patient fittings, and we're anxiously waiting to hear the detailed results when they get back. In the meantime, check out these pictures from their instagram feed. 

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Back In Champaign, and Ready for Action!

Today began the the first full week back in Champaign for Dylan, Ehsan, and I after our escapades in Central America launching the OpenSocket. Dylan and Ehsan are beginning what is now the third week of the Spring Semester (we made them skip the whole first week), and I am back in our office at EnterpriseWorks. 

Being back in Champaign is a big change from being Central America. It's much colder here, and (most) everyone speaks English. Beyond the obvious, we're back to all of the work we left behind like fundraising, administration, manufacturing, and so on.

While these things might sound much more mundane than fitting someone with an OpenSocket or riding across Guatemala in a cramped bus, they are just as critical to our mission. Everything we do here at home makes it possible for us to give more people access to quality prosthetic care, and that's something I try to remember every day. 

It's my goal to harness all of the energy and excitement from our 3 week trip and use it to push Bump even more aggressively toward our goals. We definitely have some exciting goals in store as well! In two weeks, a team of prosthetists from the Rehabilitation Institute of Indianapolis will head to Sierra Leone with some of our OpenSockets. We're excited to partner with this team to deploy the first OpenSockets on the African continent!

It's also the start of a new semester, which means new teams of students are working with us on projects. We're already off and running with another class of LINC students, and a Senior Design project in Mechanical Science and Engineering.

In the office we're working to make our manufacturing process more robust and efficient, as well as seeking new opportunities for funding and support. Last Friday, I drove over to Harristown, Illinois to speak to an Elementary School that is fundraising to sponsor an OpenSocket. Many thanks to them as they join us in our mission!

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We invite you all to stay tuned as we continue to move forward. We might be back in good old Champaign-Urbana, but there is still plenty of exciting stuff going on!

Meanwhile in India

While Ehsan, Jonathan, Dylan, and I were traveling around Central America over the last few weeks, another Bump team member was hard at work in India. Sudeep Gowrishankar, Bump's Field Director for India, performed 2 fittings of the OpenSocket with patients there.

Check out this excerpt from Sudeep's internal blog:

...I came back to meet Mohammed Iyanatullah, a 19 year old boy studying at a nearby school. He was born with a defect in his left arm and has about 4” below the elbow. I started his fitting soon after some paperwork. As I was starting the fitting, one of my friends came to visit me at the camp. He, like many others at the camp, watched intently as I fit this strange device to Mohammed. This fitting too was not easy. Having never ever utilized the muscles of his left arm, there was a lot of flab on his residual limb. Getting the harness correctly fitted and the socket securely fastened took time and effort. At the end of it, Mohammed was able to lift three plastic chairs and a box of OpenSockets and tools, something he has never done in his life before.

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These 2 fittings, combined with the 30 patients we worked with in Central America, and our 8 previous patients give us a grand total of 40 people currently using the OpenSockets on opposite sides of the globe.

Great work Sudeep!