Haitian man travels to Fargo for prosthetic arm thanks to local volunteers

November 18, 2017
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By Kevin Wallevand on Nov 17, 2017 at 7:02 p.m.

FARGO—A young man from Haiti can thank an army of volunteers, who brought him to Fargo, to get a prosthetic arm.

29-Year old Jacquelin Joseph has been a translator for a local medical team for years when they travel to Haiti.

Jaquelin found himself smack dab in the middle of a workshop, buzzing with tech talk.

The owner-entrepreneurs Josh Teigen and Cooper Bierscheid, with Fargo’s Prosthetics company are measuring and calculating the geometry, physics and human anatomy of Jacquelin’s upper body, in order to fit him with a 3D Printed arm.

“These guys can hit print and go home for the day and print it during the night and you come back in the morning, and the work is done,” said Paul Edman, Altru Certified Prosthetist.

Jacquelin comes from impoverished Haiti, and lives in a village where Fargo Moorhead medical teams perform surgery for the last two decades.

In fact Cooper met Jacquelin on during a recent Fargo Medical Mission trip.

Jacquelin lost his arm in a sugar cane press, similar to our wood chippers.

“I put the sugar cane in and someone said, look out, and I lost my mind,” said Jacquelin.

Jacquelin never let the loss of a limb, limit his work ethic, but some everyday practical things were hard.

“Driving and carrying things, if I get a prosthesis I can do that,” said Jacquelin

Altru’s Paul Edman, a certified prosthetist from Grand Forks, joined others in donating time and expertise to help Jacquelin get a functional arm.

“If he gets a terminal device, he has grip to lift and carry things,” said Edman.

The Altru team glued, drilled, cut and tweaked the new 3D printed limb, to get a good fit.

“A lot of people think you come in and get a small medium large, and here you go, but everything has to be custom made,” said Edman.

Watching the team from Prosthetics, happy to see technology used to do great things.

“When we started this company, we wanted to make products that help people, and that means not just here, but everywhere,” said Josh Teigen, Prosthetics.

20-years after losing his arm, he was fitted with a socket, elbow, forearm wrist and device he can manipulate with his shoulders, but for Jacquelin a changed life.

Dr. Lance Bergstrom of Fargo helped bring Jacquelin from Haiti.

To learn more about the Haiti Medical Mission, click here.

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