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$750,000 in Prosthetic Limbs Donated to the Philippines

"We were just told the other day that over 50 to 70 limbs were being amputated per day, primarily due to infection, so over the next three to six months there's going to be a huge need," Quelet said.

FREDERICK, Md. - A local business and a nonprofit group teamed up to help the people affected by the devastating typhoon in the Philippines.

Typhoon Haiyan struck a country already recovering from a massive earthquake in October, and the consequences go beyond the physical damage to the country.

"What's happened recently will increase the number of amputees that are there," said Kenneth Hudson, manager of gifts in kind at Physicians for Peace.

Ability Prosthetics and Orthotics held a donation drive for Physicians for Peace and collected about $750,000 worth of artificial limbs.

"We happened to have a drive for the Philippines previous to the typhoon that hit," said Jeffrey Quelet, certified prosthetist orthotist at Ability Prosthetics and Orthotics.

Those with Ability say these prosthetics will help between 200 and 300 people and they say with the recent typhoon, that need is even greater.

"We were just told the other day that over 50 to 70 limbs were being amputated per day, primarily due to infection, so over the next three to six months there's going to be a huge need," Quelet said.

"They may have been forced to wade through dirty water, and that will increase the number of infections," Hudson said. "If they don't have the medicine to take care of those infections, they're going to have to have limbs amputated."

Physicians for Peace, based out of Norfolk, Va., stopped by Ability's Frederick office to pick up the prosthetics. They'll break down the limbs and ship them to where they're needed the most.

"We have a main facility there in Manila," Hudson said. "They may actually be able to take some material there and bring them to the facilities that were hit."

"It makes us feel good that instead of these limbs sitting on people's attics or collecting dust that they can go to a very worthy cause, and most amputees enjoy the opportunity to actually give back," Quelet said.

Ability Prosthetics and Physicians for Peace are diving back to those who've been struck by two natural disasters in one month and helping them pick up the pieces of their shattered lives.

Ability Prosthetics 10 offices, including those in Frederick, Hagerstown, and Gettysburg, are accepting donations of artificial limbs for the Philippines through the end of this year. Physicians for Peace are looking for monetary donations to continuing helping the Philippines. For information on how to donate to Ability Prosthetics, click here. For information on how to donate to Physicians for Peace, click here.  



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