Local Man Travels to Haiti for Prosthetics

by Emily Baird on August 11, 2010 at 6:40 am

Vern Hostetler is no stranger to global travel.

He was living in Africa in the early 1980’s working in development.

"That experience had a profound impact on my life. It was in that setting that I was introduced to orthotics and prosthetics. So, I came back to the state and got my certifications. I’ve always thought I would love to utilize those skills again in a third world setting, " says Hostetler.

He will get that chance. Hostetler is leaving for Haiti on Saturday to work at the Hanger Clinic for three months. It was established back in February and has already seen more than 500 patients, most of whom are earthquake victims.

"Many people suffered amputations due to crush injuries or from infection following their injuries. So, a lot of the surgeries were required as far as life saving surgeries, " says Hostetler.

Without the clinic, Hostetler says these people would never be able to return to normal activities or become active members of society again. The prosthetics help bring back some form of mobility or function.