New leg helps African exchange student walk again

Armindo Chado, a 25 year old Canada World Youth exchange student received a very special gift from the healthcare professionals at Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Sciences Centre. Chado, (as he prefers to go by) arrived in Canada last September from Mozambique, to live with a host family based in Midland, Ontario. Little did he know that only three months later he would be returning to Africa able to walk for the first time in almost ten years with a new prosthetic leg.

With the help of his host family, Bill and Donna Woodliffe, his exchange counterpart, Michael Bauche from Saskatoon, and friends and neighbours from the Midland community, Chado came to Toronto to the Sunnybrook Centre for Independent Living (SCIL) to be fitted for a prosthetic leg.

“When Chado first arrived, my wife and I knew we had to do something to help! We couldn’t imagine sending him home without doing everything possible to get him a leg,” said Bill Woodliffe his host father. “At one point we almost gave up after initial requests for help failed. But we contacted Elizabeth Harris, a Prosthetist at Sunnybrook & Women’s and she offered to lend their time and expertise to the cause.”

At age 17, Chado became an above knee amputee after a soccer injury failed to heal properly and became infected with gangrene. In Mozambique prosthetic devices are available but unattainable for most due to the extremely high costs. With his new leg, complete with a Canadian flag to remind him of his Canadian friends, Chado is completing the second part of the exchange program in South Africa where he is now building a school in Limpopo.

The Prosthetic department in the Sunnybrook Centre for Independent Living (SCIL) is the largest artificial limb centre in Canada. Sunnybrook & Women’s has a long history of caring for Veterans and the disabled. For more than 50 years the hospital has provided patients with the highest quality of care in prosthetic services.