Missing Both Arms

Faith and the non-functional prosthetic

There are moments in a life, when there is no question that you must act. There is no possibility to look the other way or find a reason to opt out. Sitting in the head teacher’s office of the Rock Foundation School in the slums of Banda, Uganda, Patty Gilbert, co- founder of One School at a Time, found herself in just such a situation. In the chair beside Patty was Faith, a young women in her 20’s with no arms below the elbow. Her beautiful face was missing an eye. In Faith’s lap was a plastic prosthetic arm. Joining Faith in the room was a Ugandan Superior Court judge, who explained the situation in english to Patty. Faith’s husband had become enraged one day, and chopped off both her arms with a machete. The unbearable nature of this case, propelled the judge to welcome Faith into her home and care for her in the months and years that followed. The judge had even gone so far as to find a local doctor to provide Faith with a prosthetic, but sadly the primitive device was useless. Could Patty help Faith get new prosthetic arms? Deeply moved, how could Patty say no? 

Later that night, Patty, overwhelmed with the huge responsibility and difficulty of the task that lay ahead of her, broke down in tears. “How am I going to find her those arms? I know nothing about prosthetics and I don’t know any doctors that treat amputees!” 

A year later, Faith, with her new Ugandan passport, and Judge Margaret were on a plane together flying to Tanzania to a renowned clinic for amputees.

Looking sharp and flying to Tanzania. Judge Margaret is the woman on the left.

Faith would spend 2 weeks there working with a doctor, fitting two prosthetics and training her body how to use them. These arms will restore basic functioning, as well as provide human dignity and a better future. 

The One School at a Time team celebrates and honors Patty and all her friends and family who supported this beautiful and heartfelt effort!


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