Prosthetic Limbs for Panama

Volunteers at Global Links have been up to their ears in legs – and arms, feet, breasts, as well as over 500 boxes of prosthetic limb accessories. The donations were being packed for the Thomas L. and Linda J. McCormack Foundation, which has a prosthetic workshop in Panama.  Global Links is proud to work with this foundation, because they have the facilities to ensure that each individual prosthesis is properly fitted, and that the patients are given support in learning to use their new limbs. Many resource-poor communities lack these facilities.  The prostheses donated by Global Links will be included in the 9th container that Tom McCormack is sending to Panama.

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Volunteers preparing the materials for donation.

When Tom began working with beekeepers in Chiriqui, Panama, in 1994, it did not take long for him to realize he could play a larger role in supporting the health of the community.  Tom told Volunteer Supervisor Kate Gascoine that he got his start when he noticed a woman always walking around with her arm clenched in front of her chest. Assuming she had an arm or shoulder injury, he asked the woman’s family about her condition, and learned that she had had a mastectomy and had no prosthesis. Back in the United States, Tom solicited a prosthetic breast for this woman.

That was when he realized the extent of the need for all prostheses, as well as wheelchairs, beds, and other medical furnishings.  His foundation now provides many other essentials to this underserved community.

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Tom McCormack with some of the donated prostheses.

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