My name is Maxwell Goliath and I am the oldest child in a family of five children, from Lilongwe, Malawi. I was born and raised in a Christian family, despite growing up in an area well known for its high rates of crime and all sorts of other bad things. I thank my parents for making sure I didn’t fall into bad company. I have been blessed with a loving and caring family which has always been there for me. I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth; this has made me into an ambitious and hardworking person and I am determined to make my family proud.
After completing secondary school in 2009, I served as a volunteer in the Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy department of Children of Blessings Trust (COBT). This is where I first saw orthopedic devices, both orthoses and prostheses. I was glad to see clients who had lost either limbs or normal muscle function being happily rehabilitated using such appliances.
My interest in this area gave me the opportunity to visit the 500 miles Centre at Kamuzu Central Hospital orthopedic appliances are made. I was amazed at wide range of assistive devices I saw during my two day stay at the Centre and I loved the whole fabrication process. I was keen to know more so, I asked for a chance to join their team as a Bench worker. I wanted to understand the concepts behind the ability of these devices to relieve pain, prevent and correct deformities and help amputees to attain a normal gait. It was a great experience watching amputees walking using their artificial limbs.
I was very happy when I joined 500 miles’ staff in January 2011 as a bench worker, My tasks at the Centre included assisting prosthetists/orthotists in the production and fitting of orthopaedic appliances and collecting and recording patient data. I worked at the Centre for 19 months before I got an opportunity in 2012 of studying Orthopaedic Technology at TATCOT in Tanzania under 500 miles’ sponsorship, and I am currently in my second year.
My vision for my future
I really enjoy the feeling accompanied by the proper prescription of the devices and the joy they bring to orthopaedic clients. I came to realize that being physically challenged doesn’t make an individual ineffective in society but with proper prescribed appliances and health care, they can still contribute to their community’s development and become successful in life.
I am looking forward to applying the knowledge and skills I am being equipped with at TATCOT when I graduate next year. However, I understand that with the diverse range of structural and functional abnormalities of people with disabilities, I will still have a lot to learn even upon completion of my course. I would therefore like to study for a BSc Degree in Prosthetics and Orthotics in future as this will give me more advanced skills and understanding pertaining to my profession. I love what I am doing!