Hernan Fuentes is from Cochabamba, Bolivia, a city sitting in a valley bearing the same name as the Andes mountain range. Hernan is 35 years old, and does sewing work in Cochabamba.
Hernan has been wearing a prosthetic limb for 25 years, having lost his natural limb when he was only 11 years old.
He lost his leg due to Osteomyelitis - an infection of the bone. Initially, Hernan's infection was below the knee. Over the course of three operations, his leg became infected with gangrene. Unfortunately, the gangrene moved up his leg and, as a result, his leg was amputated above the knee.
For the last 25 years, Hernan has struggled to walk on various prosthetic limbs. He has had four different limbs, all of which had single-axis knee joints made out of wood. The inferior design of his previous prosthetic knees coupled with the harsh terrains in Cochabamba led to consistent problems for Hernan. Aside from needing continual maintenance, the limitations of his former knee joints made walking or standing for long periods of time very uncomfortable.
With the LIMBS Knee, Hernan is confident that he will no longer have the same issues he used to encounter. The strength and durability of this knee should last him much longer than his previous models. When it does wear down after vigorous use, it will be able to be repaired with minimal maintenance. Already, he is much more comfortable walking and standing with the LIMBS Knee, and his gait will continue to improve with practice. He hopes that in addition to his sewing work, he can find additional sources of income to make his life easier. Finally, he is hoping that his gait will improve enough so that people will no longer make fun of him by imitating his walk; that despite his disability he can walk and function as well as any other Bolivian.