By Rjay Zuriaga Castor
Jayshem Quintar Lozada, a 26-year-old resident of Barangay Tahing, Calinog, said he will walk as fast as he could once he received his free personalized prosthetic limb. Lozada was born with tetra-amelia syndrome, a disorder characterized by the absence of arms and legs.
“Mapanaw ako sa madasig kay handum ko gid ang makalakat,” he told the Daily Guardian.
“Mayad man ni nga mahatagan na kami. Mayad man kay makalakat lakat na ako,” he added.
Lozada mentioned that he would no longer face difficulties in performing his farm work and other once-dreamed-of activities.
In 2019, Lozada surpassed his physical limitations after he participated in an athletics orthopedic category. He became a shot-put athlete and competed in the district, integrated, and regional Paragames.
John Rey Amolar from Janiuay, Iloilo, also expressed gratitude for the chance to walk unaided. Amolar figured in a vehicular accident in 2014 which resulted in the amputation of his right leg,
“Nalipay gid ako kay halin sang una nga handum ta nga makakahid na ta and sa sunod tuod maabot na gid man sa. Grabe gid ang kalipay ko kag dako gid ni siya nga bulig sa amon,” he said.
With the prosthetic limbs, Amolar said he would no longer experience pain in his hands and soreness in his arms the next day when using crutches.
“Kung magtakod na ang prosthetic limbs gusto ko makadalagan kag mag basketball,” he added.
Amolar has participated in para swimming competitions, even reaching the Palarong Pambansa podium.
Both of them are beneficiaries of the Lakat Liwat (Walk Again) project initiated by the Rotary Club of Iloilo South and Rotary Club of Coimbatore Midtown, India.
The project organizers held a consultation to take precise measurements of the recipients’ limbs at the Iloilo Provincial Capitol on Friday, November 17.
“We are overwhelmed by the numbers of amputees in Iloilo. In fact, we have to limit it to 200 because we will cater to the rest next year. We are only limited to 100, but we are reaching I think a little over 200,” said Aivee Jonson, president of the Rotary Club of Iloilo South.
She added that there will also be 25 beneficiaries in Guimaras and 40 or more in Antique.
She emphasized that the free prosthetic limbs will play a crucial role in restoring mobility, function, and independence for the amputees.
“This will boost their self-esteem because they will walk like normal people. They would not need crutches. If their arms are free, they can be more productive. They can be less of a burden to their families and they can be productive,” she stressed.
The prosthetic limbs will be manufactured in India and are expected to be distributed to the beneficiaries in March next year.