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How 6 physical therapy students’ project made a cerebral palsy patient’s life better

By: Immae Lachica May 08,2019 - 06:09 PM

Jacqueline “Jacjac” Damaloa sits comfortably on her wheelchair modified by the six physical therapy students. | Contributed photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — A school project of six physical therapy students has made better the life of their subject-patient, a 24-year-old Talamban resident suffering from spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy.

One of the six students, Shainna Bantillan, posted their story online, which she titled: “Jacjac’s first suroy in years.”

The post has since attracted quite a number of reactions from netizens.

Bantillan said their project was about postural support devices and they were asked to look for pediatric patents, who were in need of wheelchair modifications.

The six students of Velez College Cebu, namely Bantilan, Duvico Isola  Gilyn Asentista Christine Abuyog, Giancarlo Ranile and Mariah Abadia, didn’t need to look far as one of the members of their group has a cousin, suffering from spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy.

Their subject: Jacqueline “Jacjac” Damaloa of Barangay Talamban, Cebu City.

Bantillan said that they visited Jacjac last April 27, 2019 and found out that Damaloa’s favorite wheelchair needed modification.

Bantillan and his five other groupmates for the project also realized that they could make Jacjac’s life better by modifying her favorite wheelchair.

Bantillan said that Jacjac had four wheelchairs and her favorite wheelchair was the 13-year-old wheelchair from Japan.

“She currently has 4 wheelchairs but this 13 year old  wheelchair is her favorite one because she wouldn’t slide off the seat” said Bantilan. 

It took the group one week to modify the wheelchair. They changed its leather seating and fixed the headrest that was hurting Jacjac’s head. 

They spent P6,000 to modify the wheelchair, and when it was done on May 5, they decided to give the newly modified wheelchair a spin.

“Jacjac likes Chowking so we wanted to bring her there after our class after we gave her the wheelchair. She’s always being carried by her mom and that was the first time she went out without having to be carried,” Bantillan said. 

In an excerpt of the Facebook post Bantilan said, “Our team was blessed with perfectly aligned circumstances and resources which allowed us to serve and see what our time in Velez College is preparing us for. Thanks to Jacjac and her mom, we got to learn from and tinker on a very high class wheelchair with built-in PSDs. Truly, Jacjac has helped us more than we’ve helped her.” 

Bantillan’s posts of the photos telling the story of how they made the life of Jacjac better by modifying her wheelchair and their gratitude for the lessons they learned in helping Jacjac had garnered 18 comments, 250 shares, and 854 reactions as of 2:38 p.m. of May 8. /dbs

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TAGS: Physical, therapy, Velez

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