August 13, 2020

Sarah continues the fight for decent prosthetics



Sarah Almagro has just turned 20 with the dreams and the life of a girl her age, but also with some extra joy, her best birthday present: she is finally standing, moving on her own on her legs, which Knee-down are two normal prostheses, while his hands and forearms are bionic.

He was coming of age when a meningococcal meningitis AND caused him septicemia, from which he miraculously saved his life, but which caused serious consequences, such as the loss of his four limbs, plus a multi-organ shock that took the brunt of the kidney, which led to it being tied to a dialysis machine for a year.

Once physically strong, she underwent a transplant with “success.” His father has given him “life” again, giving him one of his kidneys as a compatible donor.

Two years ago, around Sarah a wave of solidarity was launched that grew month by month, year after year, to raise the necessary funds to get the money it needed so that the young Marbella woman could once again walk and use her hands.

But the fight of Sarah and her family went further: “Prevent any other young woman from going through what she had lived through, avoiding another case of said meningitis in our country,” she explained to Efe.

And they have succeeded, because the tetravalent meningitis vaccine that covers serotypes A, C, W and Y has already been included by the Ministry of Health in the calendar and replaces the type C meningitis vaccine that adolescents received until now. .

However, the struggle of Sarah, who feels “very grateful” for the enormous solidarity of society, because thanks to her she can now stand, walk again and make the almost normal life of any young woman of her age, and just take the wheelchair, it does not end here.

Her goal now is to get the public administration to change the catalog of orthopedic prostheses, which dates back to 2006. In Sarah’s opinion, the solution offered by Social Security was a “crab clamp”, as it is, “archaic prostheses”, as described by his father, Ismael Almagro, who insists on the need to adapt this catalog to current technology.

“If right now they are giving you 10,000 euros for a hand that is a clamp, and the hand Sarah is carrying is worth 80,000 euros, it is true that there is a great leap,” admits Almagro, while insisting on the need for the State to cover 60 or 70 percent of the cost and “the rest is assumed by the individual.”

At this point, they demand co-financing, and that they “individualize each patient”, since “it is not the same” for a girl who needs all four prostheses as for someone who “needs only one hand”, he argues.

However, to date, the option being studied by the Andalusian Health Service is “give a single hand a little more advanced, the dominant hand”, he explains, adding that “the one that is not dominant will be a clamp that they are giving now or a 3D hand, so the person would have two different hands. “

In addition, he points out that not having introduced the tetravalent vaccine in all these months on the calendar, since the initiative was approved in 2019, “has had savings.”

And for this reason, he urges that this amount, which amounts to between “16 and 18 million euros”, be used for the problems that “have arisen as a consequence of non-vaccination”.

“With that Sarah and many others affected would have their problem solved,” they conclude, with a halo of hope and firmness in both their tone of voice and their gaze. The fight, therefore, continues.

Pilar Gomez

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