Epic Adventure Starts Here

La Paz Clinic

  • Posted by boe4fun on April 26, 2022 at 6:25 pm

    Well, it’s been about 2 1/2 years since I’ve been to La Paz for our semi annual clinic due to Covid. Because I’ve been vaxed and boosted I felt pretty safe attending this one, although one of our patients could not keep her second appointment because she came down with the Covid virus. After the clinic I returned to Bahía Asunción to decompress. Once I was sure I was OK with no symptoms I returned back to the US and will get my second booster just in case. I crossed at Tecate with my one ton GMC pickup truck with my 8’ Alaskan camper installed. I must have had about $20 K in supplies and used parts for the clinic squirreled away from the prying eyes of Aduana, but had 4 letters from the Rotarians and Mexican government agencies explaining what the stuff was for just in case I was hassled by authorities.

    Because we original founders are getting on in years, we’ve found some new blood to carry on with the clinic. Doug and Garth are both certified in Prosthetics and Orthotics and Zenon is a well rounded technician. I arrived at this clinic two days early to clean up and organize. The clinic started full bore on Saturday, April 2nd, and Doug, Garth, and Zenon worked until the middle/latter part of the following week. Brad, Louise, Dr. Bob, and Jim arrived a couple of days before the other group left, so we had a couple of days of overlap to smooth the continuity.

    We all worked a total of 11 actual days, and casted/measured, fabricated, fit, delivered, and gait trained 23 patients. Mostly they were below the knee amputees with a few above the knee amputees thrown in along with one hip disarticulation amputee. That’s an average of about 2 prostheses per day, not to mention the number of patients that we saw who didn’t necessarily need a new socket for their prosthesis, but still required adjustments to their current legs by adding padding to accommodate atrophic changes to their residual limb, providing new liners, stump socks, new endoskeletal components when necessary, etc.
    In addition we fit a few lower limb orthotic symptoms for some kids with Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, and other congenital and non congenital conditions.

    I gotta say we all worked our butts off, but one of the highlights of the trip was when a pair of Rotarians took us out on a 64’ boat to enjoy a day on the water. We went to Balandra Beach, had a wonderful lunch and dinner, and got to watch a beautiful sunset (no green flash as Steinbeck described though!).

    All in all a great clinic and a wonderful time spent with our amigos in La Paz.

    I managed to go out with Shari Bondy on her last day of whale watching for this season (google Whale Magic Tours), and I spent several days both before and after the clinic at our trailer in Bahía Asunción enjoying the local flavor. Don Ramon’s fish and shrimp tacos are some of the best on the peninsula, and the Casita de Hamburguesas has burgers to die for. Mex. 1 was in pretty good shape, with the few usual potholes here and there, although none big enough or deep enough to require their own zip code.

    Coming back up Mex. 5 and through La Rumerosa to the Tecate border was uneventful, and crossing on a Thursday at noon was a good choice with only a 20 minute wait time. BUT, when I was second in line to cross, the Mexican authorities turned back a gringo in an older cabover camper in front of me. The border guard said he was turned back due to lack of official paperwork on his camper (not the truck). She asked if I had had a problem when I crossed a month before, but I had no issues. So this is just a heads up for anybody trying to cross with a slide in camper mounted on their pickup.


    boe4fun replied 1 year, 6 months ago 2 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • mx-rider

    April 30, 2022 at 11:27 am

    Maybe I am the only one who doesn’t know, but who is ‘we’? Is this part of some philanthropic organization or just a group of medical professionals who go down to help? Pardon my ignorance if this was already common knowledge.

    Does sound like a great and rewarding trip!

  • boe4fun

    May 11, 2022 at 5:00 pm

    Our clinic was founded in 2004, we hold clinics each spring and fall for two weeks each. Our volunteers this past clinic were:

    Top row left to right-
    Jim Thompson-technical support, Zenon Labudda-tech support, Garth Knapp-CPO (certified prosthetist orthotist by the American Board for Certification in Prosthetics and Orthotics), Beatriz Alverde-Unger-translator, Louise Farrow-RPT (Registered Physical Therapist), Doug Pinkley- CPO, Numa Arce-physical therapist and tech support, Christian Santuario-tech support.
    Bottom row, left to right:
    Paul Boe CPO(e)-emeritus status, Brad Farrow CPO(e), Dr. Robert Haining (specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation).

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