From pain to overcoming: young man’s life has a new meaning after receiving prosthetic legs

March 17, 2023 – 5:10 pm
#Amputations #esp ce #orthoses #prostheses #health #overcoming

Juliana Marques – Ascom ESP/CE – Text
Daniel Araújo, Deborah Muniz and personal archive – Photograph

Dayane Rodrigues (centre) had parts of her lower limbs amputated due to a generalized infection; ESP/CE trains professionals to prescribe, grant, adapt and maintain artificial components

Dayane Rodrigues was only 23 years old when she saw her life change completely. The young woman was already the mother of Maria Eduarda, 7 years old, and was carrying her second child when she had to be hospitalized several times because of a urinary infection.

The health problem was recurrent. It became common since when she worked in a factory, constantly exposed to heat. A year after her departure from the company, the situation still affected both pregnancies.

Going through puerperium – the postpartum period of physical and psychological adaptation – is naturally a difficult path. Experiencing this phase in severe pain is therefore more complicated. That’s what happened 30 days after the birth of João Victor. “The cramps started out mild, but over time they became disabling. I fainted several times from the pain,” he recalls.

Due to the seriousness of the situation, Dayane was sent from the Emergency Care Unit (UPA) where she was being treated to the General Hospital of Fortaleza (HGF), in a vehicle from the Mobile Emergency Care Service (Samu 192 Ceará). On the way, while fighting for life, patient and team were surprised by a collision between a truck and a light pole.

While a rescuer tried to revive her, another professional had to assist the driver involved in the accident. At the same moment, high voltage wires fell on top of the ambulance. “That night, I also escaped a shock,” says Dayane.

The young woman remembers flashes in the hospital: the rush of doctors in the Emergency and someone asking if she already had black spots on her fingers. When he opens his eyes, trying to wake up from sedation, Dayane wakes up from an induced coma thinking it’s the next day of that whirlwind of events, but 25 days had already passed. Two fingers on the right hand and part of one of the legs were lost.

fighting for life

Dayane’s frequent urinary infections evolved into sepsis, an inflammation that spreads throughout the body and can lead to a drop in blood pressure, organ failure, among other consequences. On coma days, the patient’s chances of staying alive were 5%.

“Since the problem was in my blood, it interfered with circulation, causing necrosis in the fingers of one of the hands and legs”, he explains. To save his life, the doctors, with the family’s permission, performed the amputations.

At first, Dayane Rodrigues did not get used to the prostheses, but she reassessed her relationship with the equipment after learning about the RAP Method social project

Even though she survived, the young woman only thought about how her relatives allowed the procedures. “I didn’t want to understand and I was disgusted. How did a urinary tract infection evolve into this?” she questioned. Days later, Dayane had to undergo another amputation: that of part of the other leg.

There were two months of hospitalization until he was discharged from the hospital. At home, the challenges were greater. Without part of both lower limbs, the mother of two children needed a support network.

The restart

On the wheelchair, with time advancing, Dayane realized it was time to react to the new routine. “I tried to do everything, even in the face of my limitations. I washed clothes in the sink, made lunch and swept the house”, he points out. Two years after the surgeries, she received prosthetic legs from the Unified Health System (SUS). It was necessary to relearn how to walk and to endure the initial discomfort caused by the equipment.

For this, the performance of the physiotherapist and prosthodontist Edi Ângelo Bandeira Pontes was important. The professional, facilitator of the Orthotics and Prosthetics course at the Paulo Marcelo Martins Rodrigues School of Public Health in Ceará (ESP/CE), already accompanied the patient on social media and found it strange that she always posted videos and photos using only the chair on wheels or with the help of a walker, despite having already acquired the prostheses.

The specialist is also the founder of the RAP Method social project, whose objective is to help people adapt to artificial components. Dayane, after being contacted by the physiotherapist, agreed to visit the space. It took some modifications to the devices and months of rehabilitation before the young woman began to experience the feeling that was once common: that of being able to balance her own body while standing.

Mother of two children, Dayane had to relearn how to walk and endure the initial inconvenience caused by the equipment

“It was wonderful to walk without feeling pain. At that moment, I realized that losing my legs made me see how strong I am and that I can go further. I also discovered my purpose: to impact lives. I dream of showing this project to the world and helping other people”, she says with emotion.

For Ângelo, the young woman is one of the best examples of overcoming obstacles. “As a bilateral patient, requiring a very difficult level of adaptation, if I didn’t have willpower, giving up the prostheses would be the easiest way”, he argues.

Today Dayane works as a model, is a surfer, does regular physical activity and takes care of her children alone. She also became an ambassador for the RAP Method, whose name she tattooed on her body to honor the project. Recently, she participated as a lecturer in the course Improvement in Orthotics and Prostheses and Mobility Aids at ESP / CE, a unit of the Health Department of Ceará.


The autarchy, through the Management of Professional Education in Health, provides training for professional physiotherapists and occupational therapists working in polyclinics and Specialized Centers for Rehabilitation in the State.

Course “Improvement in Orthoses and Prostheses and Mobility Aids” should open new classes this year

The training seeks to make them able to prescribe, grant, adapt, maintain and pass on guidance on orthoses and prostheses and mobility aids (OPMs). “Before, few physiotherapists understood this part of amputee rehabilitation. Therefore, the course adds a lot of knowledge to state health professionals”, says Ângelo.

In all, 36 professionals were trained in the area in the last two years, including technical training and improvement. The expectation is that new classes will open in 2023.

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