• Julie Stavarski

A New Life, A New Leg

To kickoff our storytelling collection, this one demonstrates the value of partnerships, as well as TPAC/WHCI’s ability to work together in complex situations and go above and beyond for our clients.

A couple weeks ago we had a client from El Salvador scheduled to come in on a Saturday for a mental health evaluation for his asylum case. Most Saturdays at our office are even busier than weekdays. On Saturdays we provide a support group for crime victims, mental health evaluations, counseling sessions, and medical services. Mental health evaluations are conducted by Yoshiaki Yamasaki and Lisa Pozzi for immigration cases, which generally involve assessing a client’s Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms and general history in order to provide sufficient evidence for their immigration court appointment.




During the mental health evaluation for this particular client, the client shared his experience being in the military during the civil war in El Salvador. His experience in the military not only made him a target for unwanted gang recruitment, but also left him without the bottom half of his left leg because he stepped on a mine. During the evaluation his medical symptoms were discussed, and he shared the pain he was experiencing in his leg with his current prosthetic. We really felt for the client because he had already gone through a great deal in his life and did not have sufficient funds for a new prosthetic leg.


After his appointment, we met together as a team to look into organizations and people we could contact for a low-cost or free prosthetic. Our board member Lisa Pozzi reached out to Annette Tantillo at Penn Medicine.  Annette was able to find someone to review the client’s leg and make some repairs so that he was more comfortable.  After more of our staff reached out to various people, we then finally found a match for a new leg. Our very own medical services provider David Agosto contacted us and let us know that he found someone who could help. Thanks to Lawall Prosthetics & Orthotics, our client received a new prosthetic leg!


We are ecstatic that there are people and organizations in Philadelphia that continue to selflessly help others in need. When we work together as a team, we can make what seems impossible, possible. Lawall Prosthetics & Orthotics truly became a hero and a wonderful new ally in our mission.


We want to recognize particularly, Dave and David Lawall, an incredible father and son team.


If you are interested in becoming a WHCI hero, please call us or use our contact form.


More to come,

Julie

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