Smile Stories: Manllely
In 2017, the Sharing Smiles physical therapy team added speech language pathologists as well, in an effort to provide some guidance on feeding the children to the care givers at Hogar Immanuel. Feeding 40 children three times per day is a challenge when many of the children do not eat independently. By teaming up with the speech language pathologists, our physical therapists were able to provide more comprehensive training and support to the local staff. The children benefited greatly, and a few of them graduated from eating out of bottles to using spoons—a development that left them feeling more independent and mature. After two strokes, teenager Manllely in the Dominican Republic lost her ability to walk and talk. But you can see her happiness as the Sharing Smiles pediatric rehabilitation help her to stand using a gait trainer.
Developing countries can be a tough place to grow up for children with physical or mental handicaps. In 2016, Sharing Smiles selected a group of orphanages in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic to change that dynamic and the lives of 40 orphaned children. Sharing Smiles brought in a team of highly trained physical therapists from Central Florida to work with our partners in the Dominican Republic. Every child received an individual evaluation and treatment plan designed to get them more mobile and self-sufficient. Local caregivers were trained in use of modern therapy techniques.