Professor Rob

        Professor Rob Smeets from Maastricht University Medical Centre, The Netherlands is an expert in rehabilitation medicine. He and his wife Jose joined long time supporters and friends of Sarnelli House Ben and Angelique Ummels in September/October for a 10 day visit. This was the first time for Rob and his wife Jose to visit Sarnelli House but they were in good hands with Ben and Angelique who have visited many times over the years. Rob used the time here to make a thorough assessment of the 4 children who have problems walking because of HIV/AIDS. After observing each child, examining their range of movements, videotaping their walking from all angles and analyzing the tape, he came up with a plan of exercise therapy for Dottie, ManU, Kiat and Soi. The children were co operative and happy to be part of the special rehabilitation team. Rob and Ben also taught the staff at Sarnelli how to do muscle strengthening exercises for the children.  As well as helping with the children, Rob lent his expertise to the two staff who are disabled – Som Jai who is in a wheelchair from an accident and Nook who lost a leg in a motorbike accident. He took them along with Ben who works with Rob, to a session of exercises in the pool. For Nook it was the first time she has felt free of the pressure of her stump in the prosthesis which she normally needs to walk. Both Som Jai and Nook learnt some valuable exercises to strengthen their muscles to achieve their best function and improve their mobility.   To ensure the exercise programs continue a volunteer physiotherapist from The Netherlands is staying for 5 weeks at Sarnelli House to implement the exercise plans Rob and Ben developed, and to teach the staff and volunteers how to continue the program when he leaves. Many thanks to Rob and Ben for their time and generosity in sharing their expertise and skills to improve the mobility and lives of the physically disabled kids and staff at Sarnelli  House.

Checking reflexes on Kiat

Rob and Ben teaching the staff Dottie's exercises

Somjai, Rob and Nook