Lending limbs

Abdulaziz al Jahdhami –

Dr Fatma Mohsin al Lawati believes in Henry Ford’s saying “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it”.
As an orthotist and prosthetist, Dr Fatma helps fit disabled people and amputees with artificial limbs and braces and works on their rehabilitation. She is the first Omani to be awarded a PhD in orthotics and prosthetics.
“Being a prosthetist is never an easy job and it’s different from other medical specialisations. Basically what orthotists and prosthetists do is performing a detailed assessment to determine the patients’ needs and assess their functional status, including muscle development, gait, sensory function, range of motion, joint stability and skin integrity,” she said.
Orthotists and prosthetists have to design artificial limbs or implants and take the design to a technician who makes the final product to the patient. Finally, they make sure braces, implants or artificial limbs are functioning properly, and are comfortable. Undoubtedly it’s a hectic job and a long process of monitoring patients, and counselling is often required.
Dr Fatma is very passionate about her profession and helps in making dreams of others possible!
For most people, losing a part of the body part is an unacceptable reality, but Dr Fatma believes that part of her mission is to convince people cope with this physical challenge and regard it a blessing. Throughout her interaction with her patients, she tries to revive their hope in life.
Dr Fatma recalls the story of a 10-year old who lost his leg because of cancer. He came to hospital walking on two legs and he ended up losing one and that made him depressed. His demand was simple. “I came to the hospital having two legs and I want to walk back home with two legs again”.
Unfortunately, losing his leg was a real shock for him and it was not so easy to bring it back.
Dr Fatma, who was a trainee at the hospital at that time, chipped in making the child’s dream come true. Although the child was a challenge to the doctors and hospital, but to Dr Fatma it was an opportunity not to be missed. She wanted to give it a try and compensate his leg with an artificial one. She strived hard to make him an artificial leg, by which he could walk back home on foot. With her courage and persistence, she could make his dream possible!