In the training room at EMERGENCY’s Rehabilitation and Social Reintegration Centre in Sulaymaniyah, Kayan (8) is sitting on the floor with his mother, doing what every other child his age would: playing. On the floor, alongside colourful plastic toys, lies his prosthesis.
“Kayan is trying to adapt his walking after technicians at the centre built his prosthesis,” explains Burhan, one of EMERGENCY’s physiotherapists. “The first time he arrived in Sulaymaniyah was more than two years ago, and he’s already outgrown two prostheses. This time, we had to increase the height of the aid by 1.25 cm in order to keep up with his rate of growth,” continues Shadman, coordinator of the orthotic technicians.
Following treatment and discharge from the centre, patients undergo periodic monitoring activities and check-ups as required according to their condition. Comprehensive follow-up programmes are essential for our patients: over time, prostheses can become worn out or require adjustment.
Kayan suffers from a genetic neurological disease. He’s here because, when he was born, his hypotrophic and deformed foot required amputation in order to enable him to walk normally.
“My child loves playing with technology and watching TV. However, there are times when I can see him closing in on himself because of his illness,” his mother tells us. “It’s not always easy to rehabilitate very young patients like Kayan,” adds Burhan, “but we try to set everything up like a game. Initially, the youngest are often scared or intimidated by things like our white coats, for example. The presence of their parents helps them feel more comfortable.”