Tomasita in 2010
Tomasita (right) with Robbie Jackson (standing) Rob Kistenberg (seated) & Adrian Camara (skateboard) in July 1998
Cause of Amputation: Motor Vehicle Accident
PHB Patient since 1998
When Tomasita first presented needing a prosthesis in the summer of 1998, she was the first patient that actually came in wearing a prosthesis. It was around 15 years old, had a worn out lace up leather thigh corset and metal knee joints. The bottom of the leg was exoskeletal. It was the only leg she had ever worn. After her accident, her family sent her to Jamaica to have it made. Unfortunately, it had not fit well for some years, was causing pain and doing damage to Tomasita’s residual limb. Furthermore, we did not have the materials or the equipment to fabricate a joint and corset style prosthesis.
It turned out that Tomasita had very good knee stability and a very, very short residual limb that was covered by scars. We decided to make her a foam lined self-suspending prosthesis to see if she could tolerate it. And it worked. She was shocked at how light it was and has been coming to see Project Hope Belize ever since. She even recruits patients for PHB in the Cayo District where she lives.
Since 1998, we have tried numerous different variations of prostheses for Tomasita, but she continues to stay with the style we made for her back in 1998. It keeps her going all day working on her ranch and chasing after her children.