Melania Parrales was only one year old when she severely burned her feet walking on blazing embers that were used in the family kitchen. Due to their difficult economic situation, her parents could not pay for adequate care in time and both of Melania’s feet had to be amputated. When this unfortunate accident happened in 1953, the prostheses were not yet manufactured in Nicaragua, which meant that Melania had to move on her knee since she was a baby.
Life is difficult for Melania, who has to work in the markets selling spices to support herself. Although she had 11 children, their financial situation does not allow them to help her. She therefore goes to work every day by moving on her knees.
She emphasizes: “My children have their own families, I do not want to be a burden to anyone, I can still work and earn a living. I don’t want to beg to survive and I prefer to work. As long as I can, I will continue to go to the market every day.”
It is only now, at the age of 66, that she received her very first prosthesis. She was cared for by Rafael Bermudez, who had just graduated as Prosthetist/orthostist category II at the UDB, thanks to a MoveAbility grant. Melania was fully supported and accompanied to take her initial steps. For the first time she was standing up.
Despite her prostheses, Melania often continues to move on her knees. She explains: “I’ve been moving like this all my life, that’s all I know. I still need a little more time to adjust and above all I have to get used to a new way of seeing the world.”