Monday, 24 July 2023
Six months after the devastating earthquake, reconstruction in Turkey is progressing. Ottobock is also helping to improve normality in the everyday lives of earthquake victims: from the fundraising campaign of the Ottobock Global Foundation to trainings for O&P professionals to fitting the earthquake victims with medical devices. The first fittings have already been carried out in a workshop container and a patient care container sent by Ottobock from Duderstadt to Adana.
What's happened so far…
Ömer Deveci, Senior Technical Implementation Manager, has been supporting Ottobock’s relief efforts from the very first minute. He was with his family in Turkey during the severe earthquakes – fortunately they survived and remained unscathed. However, in addition to the approximately 50.000 casualties, some 9.000 people lost arms and legs in the natural disaster. The goal is to fit as many of them as possible with prostheses and get them moving again quickly.
In order to initially improve the local medical technology infrastructure, Ömer Deveci prepared training courses for O&P professionals in Turkey together with O&P professional Uli Maier. The focus was on digital fitting solutions with the MyFit TT software. Have a look at the video! It will be continued...
Six patients, including five earthquake victims, were testimonials at the training sessions. Uli Maier used this examples to show the participants how to achieve optimal treatment results within a short space of time. After Sabri, Lokman, Ahmet and Faruk fabricated the test sockets with Uli Maier during the training, they have now fitted them with their prostheses in the mobile container solutions. They were accompanied by Ömer Deveci with his technical expertise and Özlem Kartal, Sales Junior Market Manager for Prosthetics, who documented the fittings in media. Ömer Deveci gives us an insight and tells us about her moving stories:
Incredible team spirit
In the first week of July Adana was 35 degrees. Despite the sweaty temperatures, no one thought of giving up. Ömer Deveci talks about the incredible team spirit and the kebabs that provided energy in between. “What gave us strength? All of us had one big goal: to enable our patients to return home on two feet,” says Ömer Deveci.
Aziz is a farmer and comes from Kahramanmaras. In the earthquake, he lost all his belongings in a few seconds. In a creaking voice, he reports: “I heard my cows begging for help and saw them alive for the last time. At that moment, I noticed that my left leg was gone.” Despite the severe pain that has accompanied him since the subsequent leg operation, he has not wanted to accept help from others until now. His greatest dream prompted him to jump over his shadow: “I want to drive a tractor again so I can rebuild my life independently.” When Aziz entered the Patient Care container, Ömer Deveci talks about his hopeful eyes: “Aziz hugged Uli and me when he was able to get out of the container on both feet.”
“Aysima’s smile was priceless.”
Six-year-old Aysima is the youngest patient Uli Maier treated this week. She lost her little brother and parents in the earthquake. After four days, the rescue forces recovered them from the rubble, severely traumatised. Now she lives with her uncle, who wishes she could play around on the playground with other children and go to school again. “She was more than a patient to us,” says Ömer Deveci. Together with the Ottobock team of technicians, he surprised Aysima with new shoes and an amputee Barbie doll. “Her smile was priceless.” One day after the fitting, Ömer Deveci was sent a video that made him overjoyed: It shows Aysima climbing stairs with her uncle on the playground.
… first on holiday
Before travelling to Adana for the fitting of his prosthesis, Ümit told his friends that he would be leaving in a wheelchair for the last time and would return on his own feet. No sooner said than done. “The fitting went great, and Ümit was able to walk directly for 30 minutes alone with his new prostheses,” says Ömer Deveci. Ümit has set himself two goals for the future: “First, I'll go on holiday with my wife, and then I'll play football with my friends again.”
Ömer Deveci sums it up: “The challenge was to understand each individual’s stories, to accompany them emotionally and to give them hope – without false promises.”
In our Newsticker, we regularly provide information on the current development of the Ottobock Global Foundation's relief campaign for people in need – relief for earthquake victims. You can also follow our social media activities on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. We are looking forward to a Like!
Image Container (Earthquakes): Aysima
Image Aysima Container (Earthquakes)
Image Aziz Container (Earthquakes)
Image O&P Professionals (Earthquakes)
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