I am one-half of the therapy team that travels with International Extremity Project. Amy Levin, a speech-language pathologist, and I, a physical therapist, work with the pediatric teams at Can Tho Children’s Hospital and at Pediatric Hospital #1 in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) once the surgeons and nurses are operating on their patients.
At the outset of the trip, I work with the surgeons to evaluate adults and children, and assist in the determination of which patients would most benefit from surgery. I love this part of my role because of the great collaboration with the surgeons. It's a particularly fun aspect of the trip for me.
Amy lives in Chicago and I now live in Nebraska, so we are coordinating our efforts across some miles for the upcoming trip. For the previous two trips (2004 and 2007), we both lived in Chicago so coordination was a bit easier. We have a great system in place and donations are arriving. We're starting to look at what supplies we will take to share with the pediatric therapists in both Can Tho and HCMC. We bring a broad range of therapy supplies, books, and equipment to share with the pediatric teams.
I cannot wait to see the people I have gotten to know on the past two IEP trips. It's been too long since our 2007 trip. I'm also excited to meet the new folks who are traveling on this 2010 adventure.
For me, I am so happy to be a part of another trip and I gain so much from each experience. It’s a humbling experience, but so uplifting and fulfilling for me! I cannot wait to see all of the great babies and kiddos we will encounter as well the therapists and doctors we have come to know during our past travels. And who knows, maybe we’ll see some kiddos we’ve seen before.
It's only a few more weeks before Amy and I will travel to San Francisco to meet up with our fellow IEP friends...and let the adventure begin! ~ Stacy Lerner