Graduate students at Newman Guide-recommended University of Mary in Bismarck, N.D., traveled to Guatemala to serve those with disabilities and other needs, according to Our Sunday Visitor.
Between 30-40 physical and occupational therapy students took part in the University of Mary’s Service Oriented Learning Experience in which they learned “creativity” and the “joy of serving others.”
“Students do anything from building homes, working in a malnutrition center or homeless shelter, fitting and distributing wheelchairs, and doing outreach service in villages,” said Dr. Mary Dockter, director of the University of Mary’s physical therapy program.“The children especially have a lot of disabilities from birth defects. Students see a lot of cerebral palsy and genetic abnormalities from poor or no prenatal care.”
Andrew Richter met a man in Guatemala who is an amputee, can’t walk and at age 25 had to be carried by his family. As a volunteer occupational therapy student from the University of Mary in Bismarck, N.D., Richter helped to fit him with a wheelchair provided by Hope Haven International Wheelchair Ministry.
“The look on his parents’ face, and his face, when they were able to push him was priceless,” he said. “He’s able to go to church with his family and go on errands. Before, they left him at home because there was too much stress to take him anywhere.”
… One 4-year-old child had such severe hydrocephalus that he could no longer sit vertically. So the team built his chair to be more like a stroller, allowing him to maintain horizontal positioning.
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