One Morristown man recently joined in on an effort to help amputees in Mexico. John Reynolds went on a humanitarian trip and helped build and fix nearly 20 people's prosthetic limbs.
This project was started nearly 20 years ago by a man named Arturo Vazquez. He called upon the help of prosthetists from America to come help after a large earthquake in Mexico City. Ever since, a crew goes once a year to offer a hand.
Vazquez passed away this spring. This year, crews honored Vazquez for creating this. John Reynolds has made the trip to Mexico twice. He went on a trip in November.
"Flew in on Sunday, started working Monday, finished everything Friday, came home Saturday," said Reynolds.
In that short period of time, he and a crew of four others from around the US made 12 prosthetic limbs. This is a process that could typically take months.
All of the materials come from prosthetics donated to the cause.
"The families that give us the components are very grateful that it''s being put to good use and the people there in Mexico. I mean, you cannot imagine how appreciative they are," said Reynolds.
Reynolds has watched this project evolve over the years.
Billy Love is an amputee activist with Southern Orthocare. He also hopes to make the trip in the coming years.
"There is always somebody a little worse off than you are and you can look around and be thankful that the Lord has blessed you like he has and just do the best with what you got," said Love.
Reynolds has seen many different patients during his trips. He saw one couple who were both amputees from separate car crashes over the years.They came from another part of the country just to receive this care. Now, they both can walk again.
His work helps his patients get back into the workforce. One of his patients uses his limb to continue a career working for a power company.
"It's just gratifying. You leave tired but you're feeling very good," said Reynolds.
Southern Orthocare hired Reynolds this summer. Just months later he is traveling internationally to spread the mission of his profession.
"John is an outstanding clinician and has been doing it for forty years. He has a real heart to serve and we're honored he is just here with Southern Orthocare," said Southern Orthocare owner Joe Huntsman.
If you want to donate any unused prosthesis that you or your family have... you can take them to Southern Orthocare in Morristown. Reynolds says they can use as many donations as possible for these trips.