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Local therapist organizes equipment donation drive for Haiti

By Staff | Mar 1, 2010

Rachel Tritaik

Watching the earthquake coverage of Haiti, Sanibel resident and physical therapist Rachel Tritaik – like many – was deeply concerned. Without adequate therapy and equipment, the thousands of earthquake survivors with amputations will face immeasurable challenges if they are unable to walk.

“Close friends of mine, a prosthetist and a fellow physical therapist, will be travelling to Haiti this spring to volunteer with the organization Healing Hands For Haiti. After providing physical therapy services to many amputees in my career, I know how important appropriate walking aids are to being independent, so I’ve decided to organize a donation drive for mobility devices” said Tritaik. “Healing Hands for Haiti has provided rehabilitation services and educational programs in Haiti for 10 years. They operated the only physical rehabilitation clinic in the country, and the clinic was 80 percent destroyed during the earthquake.”

Physicians For Peace is a partner organization that collects medical supplies for distribution to Haiti. Tritaik will be shipping the donated items to Physicians For Peace with help from Gene Routh, of Pak-n-Ship of Sanibel. Donations of crutches, walkers, canes, wheelchairs, braces, prosthetics, wheelchairs and transfer boards are needed.

Items should be brought to the new Island Therapy Center, located at 2242 Periwinkle Way in the Sanibel Square, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday, now through April 16.

The clinic’s Grand Opening will be held on Wednesday, March 10 from 5:30 to 7 p.m., and Rachel hopes to collect additional equipment and tax-deductible donations for Healing Hands For Haiti at that time, too.

Non-perishable food items will also be accepted for the F.I.S.H. food pantry. Please contact Rachel at info@islandtherapycenter.com or visit www.islandtherapycenter.com for additional details. The clinic phone number is 395-5858.

Island Therapy Center provides physical and occupational therapy services, Pilates equipment instruction, certified hand therapy, lymphedema therapy, dizziness and balance therapy, Wii-habilitation, post-surgical/orthopedic therapy, prosthetic training and neurological rehabilitation.