Amputee gets prosthetic arm

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Phindile Mthiyane was overjoyed when she received her prosthetic arm. Pictured with her is Michael Calitz

Phindile Mthiyane was overjoyed when she received her prosthetic arm. Pictured with her is Michael Calitz

A STAFF member whose arm was amputated in 2010 has seen her life change for the better. This comes after UNIZULU’s Human Resources Department with the help of Durban University of Technology’s Department of Medical Orthotics and Prosthetics arranged a prosthetic arm for her.

Phindile Mthiyane, a mother of three, could not contain her joy when the prosthetic was fitted. “I’m so happy I don’t know what to say. I feel like I’m being born again,” she said.

Mthiyane, who works at the Department of Agriculture said she would now be able to do chores that proved challenging with one arm. “I thank our HR and DUT for this great gesture. My life will go back to normal again,” she said.

DUT’s Damien Askew said if Phindile was to be seen by the state orthotics and prosthetics department it would have cost her between R5 700 to R8 600. Had she be seen in a private capacity she may have been charged upwards of R45 000 – R67 000.

“DUT with assistance from the Department of Health –Orthopaedic Services, were able to cover the costs of the arm from our training budget and available components.

This allowed us to both assist the patient and teach our students in the clinical and technical approaches of Prosthetic care and best practice at no cost to the patient,” said Askew.

Suzette Nortje, from the Human Resources Department said: “Being in HR you have to ‘serve’ the university in the sense of making sure all HR things are adhered to, recruitment and selection, training and development, benefits etc. But on the other side of the coin are individual staff members who also need your attention.”

Nortje also said that if one sees something and knows what to do to assist, then he or she has to do it. “I really made only two phone calls and three e-mails each time for the appointment – first appointment for observing and to see if they can do something, the second for fitting the arm and third for collecting.”

Nortje thanked all HR team members for their support.