Loma Linda, CA (PRWEB) July 11, 2013
Loma Linda University Medical Center’s orthotics and prosthetics team gave Brazilian athlete and 2016 Paralympic hopeful, Marinalva de Almeida, the ability to walk for the first time in over 15 years. The team, led by Michael Davidson and Murray Brandstater, MD, had Marinalva walking just three days after she arrived in Loma Linda.
“We were definitely in uncharted territory when Marinalva came to us,” said Davidson, who serves as the clinical manager for orthotics and prosthetics at LLUMC. “The evolution of the prosthetic from the design of the leg, to fitting it, to actually using it is a very thorough, detailed process that typically takes six to eight weeks. We made two legs, one for running and one for walking, in less than three days.”
Dr. Brandstater, who is the chair of physical medicine and rehabilitation at LLUMC, was the first specialist at the hospital to see Marinalva. He evaluated her and outlined her specific needs. “I recognized a young, athletic individual who was a good candidate for a prosthesis,” he said. “Upon her arrival, no one had anticipated anything more than just fitting her for a prosthetic. Although a challenge, Marinalva was able to return home with two new legs.”
Dr. Brandstater admits, however, everything came together because “Michael and his staff are talented and experienced; we had the support of his students and not only was Marinalva young and fit, but her residual limb was stable.”
Marinalva, who goes by Mary, admits she did not even expect to return to Brazil with a new leg. “I knew Loma Linda was the best in its class, but they exceeded my expectations,” she said. “The amount of commitment and respect I have gotten is incredible. I’ve been received with open arms, and the whole experience has been fantastic.”
Mary openly shared the story of the incident that forced her to walk with crutches for most of her life.
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