Little Rethabile Machete: Proudly Strutting Her Stuff

Rethabile Machete is a happy three-year-old girl who was born with a congenital birth defect. Rethabile’s congenital birth defect meant that she had a corrective amputation soon after she was born.

“Rethabile has reminded me why I love working with kids.” – Jaco Deist

Her mother heard about Deist & Associates on Facebook when Rethabile had outgrown her first prosthetic. Amputees, especially children, should be fit with a new prosthetic annually. With Rethabile going to school soon her mother wanted her to have a leg that she could be proud of and strut her stuff with at school.

In Rathabile’s case, as is the case with many children who have undergone an amputation for a congenital birth defect, the kind of amputation that was done left little clearance between the residual limb and the ground. This means that the shape and length of the residual limb don’t leave much room for being fit with a prosthetic. But Jaco Deist sure does love a challenge, especially if his reward is making a beautiful child smile from ear-to-ear.

The challenge here was to work with the limited space and irregularly shaped residual limb to make Rethabile a leg that is functional, comfortable and beautiful.

In order to ensure the prosthetic built for Rethabile would tick all the right boxes Deist set off to the drawing board. His solution was to build a casing to go over Rethabile’s residual limb so that it could securely fit into the functional prosthetic foot.

To overcome the little clearance room Deist hollowed out the prosthetic foot, making more room between the residual limb and the ground for the parts to fit into each other and serve Rethabile well. The limited foot choices and the small amount of clearance means that Deist’s solution fits Rethabile like a glove despite the complications presented by an anatomically long and irregularly shaped residual limb.

The finishing touch was to have Rethabile fall in love with her new prosthetic leg so that she would want to show it off at school and wear it proudly. This was achieved by covering it in lovely, colourful butterflies.

“Now she is ready for school and she can show of her leg! What a wonderful moment! Go all the way Rethabile! I loved every moment of working with you!
See you soon!” – Jaco Deist

I think we can all agree Rethabile’s beautiful smile makes all of Deist’s hard work well worth it. If you or your child requires assistance with anything in the fields of orthotics or prosthetics please do not hesitate to contact us. View more of our Success Stories here and some more beautiful smiles Jaco Deist has helped to create.