Tanzanian With Albinism Gets New Arms

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phenomenon of albino killings, allowed Staford into the country.
Staford's first stop was an appointment with Elliot Weintrob, the president of the Orthotic
Prosthetic Center in Virginia, who would build a custom set of prosthetic limbs for
Staford -- free of charge.
"You can't turn the other way when you see something like [Staford's gruesome attack].
You got to say, 'What can I do here to help?'" Weintrob said. "I don't think I had a choice.
I see and hear a lot of things, but this went right to the top."

New Limbs, New Hope
Weintrob and his staff donated their time to make Staford a custom set of prosthetic
limbs. It's a painstaking process of measuring and readjusting, where precision is a must.
Double amputations, typically the fallout of war, are rarely seen in this county, but
Weintrob and his team begin to recreate what was taken from Staford.
Weintrob built a basic prosthetic with hooks on the end to give Staford the most
functionality. She must use the muscle in the stump of her arm to control the hooks.
When Weintrob was putting on the final touches, Staford asked him through an
interpreter: "Are these my real arms or are you still testing?"
"These are the arms you will take home," he replied.
No translation was needed; Staford broke out in dance and song. After 14 months of
misery, it was everything she had waited for.
"The arms will me do things I never thought I could do again," she said. "I'm going to be
independent!"
CLICK HERE to see photos of Staford through her journey.
Learning How to Use Her New Arms
To help her become independent again, Staford visited Rashaan Holley, an occupational
therapist at the National Rehabilitation Hospital and another angel on Team Mariamu.
Staford had only a few days to master what most people learn over the course of months.
Just learning how to put the prosthetics on seemed virtually impossible. At first she
struggled, but eventually was able to put them on without assistance.
Her sessions went beyond the mechanics of her artificial limbs, testing the limits of her
stamina and the depths of her determination. She had to relearn how to do everything -even the most simple, everyday tasks including picking up objects, using utensils,

http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=11488029

9/18/2010

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