President, CEO and Co-Founder of Odyssey Teams, Bill John, took a trip to Da-Nang, Vietnam for a fitting of prosthetic hands and his trip was “transformational.”
Twenty-one amputees from Vietnam—people who have lost limbs from various reasons—received prosthetic hands that have been assembled by some of the amazing companies and organizations who have participated in the Odyssey Teams Helping Hands program.
As of today, Odyssey Teams and partners have put 29,000 prosthetic hands on people from all around the world. Without our client partners, none of this would have be possible. But this is more than his is a business simulation, and we wield this simulation in classrooms, trainings, conferences, and sales kick-offs very powerfully. The experience is symbolic of how (and why) we work, but it’s much more than just another metaphor. To say that building these hands has an impact is an understatement.
Shire Pharmaceuticals APAC (Asia-Pacific) Leaders converged in Ho Chi Minh City and participated in Odyssey Teams’ Helping Hands ‘Live’ team building program facilitated by Bill. The attendees assembled eight hands—knowing that their creations would produce an immediate effect the very next day on those individuals in Vietnam made the activity that much more meaningful. With the eight hands built by Shire, along with others being built through a Helping Hands program in Australia, Bill set off to Vietnam with 21 hands.
Sometimes you don’t understand the impact you make in one’s life until you actually see it in person. During Bill’s fitting in Vietnam he was able to witness these individuals write for the first time, ride a bike, put their arms around each other – he got to see a “sparkle in their eye.”
Many of the recipients lost their limbs because of landmines, others suffered farming or work-related accidents and a few were born with congenital birth defects. They were thrilled to receive their new prosthetics and the mood was pure joy as they learned to use the hands. They ended up teaching each other many of the functions of the LN-4 hand. There were several charities, clinics and genuinely gracious people who found the recipients, transported, housed and fed them.
Kahn, a 58-year-old man, was one such recipient. When he was 13, he was using a shovel in the fields to dig out copper, iron and pieces of metal that were left over from the Vietnam War. His shovel hit a landmine and when the bomb went off, it took off the bottom half of his left arm.
His story is just one of the 6 to 7 million below-elbow amputees in the world. We’re just beginning to scratch the surface of helping these individuals, but with the help of you and your company, you can make a big difference in the lives of many. Learn more about the Helping Hands program and our other give back programs.