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The Wenatchee World

stop participating in the group because they learn to work around their disability and focus on other things happening in their lives. By the time patients come to York for prosthetics, he said, the initial shock of an amputation wears off and people are ready to move on with their lives. “It’s amazing how well some people can adjust,” York said. “You would think that they would be devastated, but many people just move on with their lives and do quite well.” York said he sees many amputees and he doesn’t have an estimate on how many there are in the area. There are two prosthetic facilities in Wenatchee. The other one is Cresap

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for some to interact socially. “The anxiety of losing a leg is just like losing a loved one,” he said. Silgado has earned a living in the timber industry his entire working life. In 1997, Silgado had to have his leg amputated after an 85,000-pound loading machine ran over it while he was working in Leavenworth. He said the machine’s driver stopped before it ran over the rest of his body. “I was going to die,” Silgado said. “I was going to be smashed there in that mud and that was it.” After the accident, he said, he felt like he had no one to talk to about it, and he refused to go out with friends. He said he was self-conscious, but over time he grew tired of covering his prosthesis. Now, he regularly wears shorts. “Most people have a little vanity problem because people do tend to stare,” he said. “But,

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

World photo/Don Seabrook

The Limb-It-Less club meets in Leavenworth in June. They hope to increase the number of participants, trying to get the word out about their meetings. kids, they’re curious so they’re going to do that.” Steve York, a certified prosthetist orthotist at North Central Washington Prosthetic Ser-

vices in Wenatchee, said there have been similar groups in the past that were disorganized and stopped having meetings. “Those kinds of clubs start

and they just kind of fall apart,” York said. “People with amputations tend to be a diverse group.” He said many members

Orthotics & Prosthetics. Silgado said it has been hard to convince people that the group can help with some problems. He said the group is focused on finding a diverse group of people. He wants people to join who have successful lives many years after amputations, but also those still adjusting. Silgado said the group gives amputees a place to feel welcome and to get support. “Those days of our accidents could have been our last on this earth,” he said. “They all had deadly potential. It’s amazing that we’re all still here.” Alejandro Gonzalez: 670-5138 gonzalez@wenatcheeworld.com

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Prosser family comes home, with lots of help BY FRANNY WHITE Tri-City Herald PROSSER — Home is where the heart is. The Fuentes family knows that better than most. More than a year after a city inspector condemned their Prosser mobile home, they are nearing the day when they once again will be homeowners. “We suffered, but at the same time, we received our reward,” Silvestre Fuentes said in Spanish. His eyes glazed with tears and his wife, Graciela, smiled as they sat in their new living room late last week. Their children, Silvestre Jr., 8; Yadira, 13; Isabel, 15; and Marbella, 16, sat nearby. In June last year, the family found their lives turned upside down when they were ordered to leave their home. They’d saved their earnings as farmworkers so they could buy a 1950s trailer home set in a mobile home park for $17,000 about four years ago, Fuentes said. But then the city’s first official code enforcement officer began investigating substandard properties, including the Fuentes home. The previous owner of the trailer didn’t have permits and didn’t follow building codes when he attached two rooms to the trailer. Fuentes said he didn’t know about the problem. Code officer Steve Zetz, who also found exposed wiring and a leaking roof, ordered the family to move out. At first, the family thought they could just remove the illegal additions and upgrade the rest. They worked on their trailer at night. But when an inspector from Labor & Industries, which has authority over mobile homes in Washington, came by, the Fuenteses were devastated to learn their trailer still didn’t meet codes. “I felt very bad,” Fuentes said. “How could they throw me outside with my family?” Zetz also felt bad when he learned of the family’s plight. So he and other city staffers asked around for help. They found Rick Gordon, a local contractor who had a used trailer. He agreed to donate the 1973 single-wide, pay for the permits to move it 1 ½ miles across town, and to also pay taxes owed on the home. Meanwhile, Prosser-based nonprofit Jubilee Ministries and the Benton-Franklin Community Action Committee helped the family rent an apartment. Work was completed in November and the family moved in by Thanksgiving. A subsequent inspection by Labor & Industries found minor problems, but Zetz and others repaired those. The home passed inspection June 25. Now the family is looking forward to the day when the home’s title will be transferred to their name. Jubilee Ministries has agreed to accept the home from Gordon, who will be able to take a $5,000 tax credit for the donation. Jubilee then will transfer the title to the Fuenteses. “We never thought that we’d receive such a large gift,” Fuentes said.

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