Today was one of those days I am reminded why I am a documentary filmmaker. I arrived at FAE a little before 9am and Mosha’s 3rd prosthetic fitting was already underway. After dumping the bags and grabbing the cameras, Liam, Julia and I raced up to her. Based on the look on Mosha’s face, I have a feeling she remembered me from 2007.
Therdchai Jivacate, M.D. and the staff at the Prostheses Foundation took until lunch to finish Mosha’s fitting and it warmed my heart to film her walking around! Dr. Therdchai also explained that they use parts from a car engine to create the “ankle” of the prosthetic.
After lunch, the crew moved to the lower unit at FAE and began Motala’s prosthesis. It will take 1.5 days to complete, but they measured her amputated leg, made a sand cast, a plaster-like mold of her leg, and then began the work to custom make a silicone cushion to protect the tender skin on her stump. The final touch today was to apply the black plastic coating (usually used to cover a flat-bed truck) and mark it for where they will attach a metal post to make the peg-leg part of the prosthesis.
It was a very exciting and emotional day. As Motala was measured and getting her sand cast made, Soraida whispered: you’re going to get a new leg just like Mosha, and the two of can walk together soon. Motala was so calm and present during the whole thing, several eyes started watering, including Soraida’s, who explained that this day almost didn’t happen for so many reasons.
I’m sure the gravity of the footage will hit me when I’m logging the tapes (not watching camera angles, light and audio levels), but it was amazing and exhausting at the same time. And we still have one more day of fittings! Please stay tuned.
Producer, Writer and Director, The Eyes of Thailand