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Santos Armindo González - El Salvador

In August 19th, 2000, Santos Armindo Gozalez had an industrial accident while working with iron and electricity. He lost his left hand and both legs from the electrical burns he sustained. The surgeries did not all happen at the same time, as the infections spread randomly. “First it was a leg, then the other one, and at the end - my hand. My wife did not want me to have the amputations, but I knew that my children needed me and I had to live.”

Gozalez was in the hospital for three months. His wife stayed by his side, and learned how to do the wrapping of his stumps. He received physical therapy for six months. He tried out different prostheses, but they were all too uncomfortable to use. When he complained to the prosthetic technician about his pain, the technician replied that he would just have to bear it. But, Gozalez couldn’t bear it, and began to use a wheelchair instead. He did not continue to wrap his legs, because he had lost the hope that he would walk again.

In December 2002, Gozalez’ wife – their sole breadwinner – was diagnosed with cancer. Gozalez knew he had to get out and get a job. It was about this time that he heard about LSN.

“First the Outreach Worker supported to me with emotional support, and then he linked me with PODES (an institution where the Prosthetic Technicians also wear prostheses). They evaluated my legs, and said the prostheses I had were not the right type for the kind of residual limbs I had. I was fitted for new ones, and LSN referred me to the AFP BBVA — I learned I was entitled to a pension due to my injuries.”

“I have gotten my wish — to walk and feel independent again. I walk to the bus stop, to church, to the shops. I can share also help with the chores in my house. My wife has healed of cancer. I receive a pension now, and I am working to save enough money to open a stall in the market near my house. My whole family has recovered, and I feel more confident that I can provide for them.”

View the next profile: Armando Fabián Hernández

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