Philadelphia company helps Bosnia war victim

February 15, 2009 8:14:28 AM PST
For most Americans, the civil war in Bosnia has faded into history. But for some caught up in it, the war's impact will never go away. A Philadelphia company reached out to help one young war victim.

22-year-old Eldeina Hasic's face doesn't show the long, painful road she's endured.

When she was 7, Eldeina's home in Bosnia came under a grenade attack.

She describes the incident, through a translator, "Grenade fell down, explosion happened, it happened really fast."

It badly damaged Eldeina's right leg.... Doctors tried to save it at first.

The translator says, "For 7 days, she had her leg. But the parts of the grenade, they were in her leg. So because of that, they had to remove it."

Eldeina did get an artificial limb, but it didn't fit well, and the pain sometimes kept her out of school.

A U.S.-based charity which gets kids in war-torn areas to medical care heard about her plight. But, she was too old to be eleigible for care

So Lawall Prosthetics in Northeast Philadelphia offered to help. They made her a new limb for free.

Michael Godwin, a prosthetic specialist, compressed the usual 3 week process of designing, making, and adjusting the new leg into one week

The new limb is lighter in weight, more responsive to her gait, and less taxing on her body.

The foot is state-of-the-art.

Godwin told us, "It's called the Veriflex design which is a shock absorption foot, a flex foot. You'll see a lot of the athletes and runners wear a variation of that."

The woman who brought Eldeina to the U-S says the new leg means new opportunity.

Elissa Montanti, of Global Medical Relief, says, "Eldeina would never receive this help in Bosnia. There just isn't the facility."

The translator told us, "She's really happy, " as Eldeina gave a shy smile.

Eldeina is now enjoying time with friends, and finishing up a college degree in psychology.

With her new foot, she says it will be much easier to put her painful childhood behind her.

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