News Column

El Paso Nonprofits Aid Boston, Bangladesh Victims

May 21, 2013

Vic Kolenc

Limbs International, an El Paso not-for-profit organization which helps leg amputees in Third World countries, plans to provide prosthetics to victims of the Boston Marathon bombing and victims of a garment factory collapse in Bangladesh, it announced Monday.

The organization is ready to provide its Limbs Relief Knee, a durable, plastic, low-cost, artificial knee used as part of a prosthetic leg system, to as many as 1,000 victims of the recent Bangladesh factory collapse, said Victor Venegas, a Limbs International spokesman.

The organization also is prepared to provide Aqualimb, a waterproof leg manufactured by Endolite, an England-based prosthetic manufacturer, using a Limbs-designed knee, to as many as 30 Boston bombing victims, he said.

Limbs was contacted by the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association, which is spearheading a campaign to provide prosthetics for Boston bombing victims who lost legs, about providing the waterproof leg to Boston bombing victims, Venegas said. The waterproof leg is a secondary leg for amputees that can be used for taking a shower and for taking part in water sports.

Some of the victims may have no insurance or little insurance to cover the costs of prosthetics, Limbs officials noted.

"We believe this outreach not only serves to provide a crucial need, but also provides the opportunity for people in El Paso and around the world another avenue to provide assistance for the victims," Trevor Bergman, Limbs executive director, said in a written statement.

Limbs has been involved in helping amputees in Bangladesh for years. Its artificial knee for clinics in Third World countries also is manufactured in Bangladesh, Venegas said. Limbs provides its artificial knee in Bangladesh and other Third World countries with the help of donations.

"We welcome and appreciate any support," Bergman said. "The money will help provide prosthetics to these victims, as well as (to some of) the more than 11 million amputees worldwide."

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(c)2013 the El Paso Times (El Paso, Texas)

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