Standing on Her Own Two Feet
It had been eight years since Mayerlinth Reyes, a resident of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (DR), had been able to stand tall and walk.
As she began to talk about her first tentative steps since the accident, her lips slowly curved into a smile and her eyes lighted with hope.
At age 18, Reyes lost both of her legs when a car lost control and hit her as she stood in front of her house. Because the DR doesn’t have accessibility laws to help those with mobility impairments, it was difficult for her to get around in a wheelchair. Then she discovered Innovación Ortopédica, a prosthetic clinic that partners with Latter-day Saint Charities.
“In that moment, my life turned from night to day,” she said. “When I saw [the prosthetic legs], they looked perfect to me. All I wanted to do was put them on and go walking. I wanted to show everyone so they could see me standing. Since then, I’ve never wanted to take them off.”
In a country where most people don’t have medical insurance and those who do find that it doesn’t often cover more than the cost of a doctor’s visit, many people appreciate LDS Charities’ assistance.
“It’s a wonderful thing that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has supported this program,” said Jose Daniel Lopez, co-director of Innovación Ortopédica. “It’s a church that thinks of others, no matter if they are members or not.”
With funding from Humanitarian Services, Innovación Ortopédica extends the gift of mobility to more than 50 people each year.