We first met Mr Merdu in July 2009 ,about 4 months after he received reconstructive back surgery.  He showed us impressive x-rays of the amount of metal in his back, but he was unable to even lift his legs or shift them from side-to-side because of severe atrophy.  His back problems were the result of a severe case of tuberculosis that got into his bones and weakened his back. 

We were able to get him through a full course of antibiotics and taught his wife how to perform some simple therapy to try to get some mobility and strength in his legs.  We were encouraged as slowly we began to see progress in muscle strength and encouraged him to continue with the therapy.  He had been given a wheelchair by a family member that worked in the city, so we helped Mr Merdu and his wife learn how to use it as safely as possible. 

As the months passed his legs got stronger and stronger.  We then gave Mr Merdu some simple exercises that he could do on his own.  As he continued to progress through this stage, we encouraged him to add some light weights to his exercise routine.  He was very determined and continued to show good progress.  After about 6 months we showed some of his friends and family members a picture of walking rails and within an hour Mr Merdu had a good place to begin to practice walking.  Again he showed a lot of determination and practiced his walking exercises several times a day. 

When we had a team of physical therapists and occupational therapists here in January 2010, they were able to meet Mr Merdu and give him some more tips in rebuilding muscle strength, more specific walking exercises and learning to use his legs again.  Another 2 months passed and Mr Merdu had progressed to being able to get around on a set of crutches.  You could see how excited he was to have more freedom again to get out and about, and we were happy to have seen him progress so far.  Mr  Merdu, however, was not running out of determination and he continued to work hard on the walking bars.  Now, about one year, after we first met him bedridden and scared, we cannot track him down to get one last picture to post on the blog because he is always out working. 

He is walking without ANY mobility aids and has returned to collecting cloves, a seasonal job available in his area.  We will try to get a picture of him soon, but for now he is too busy!

Update: We have also posted a video of Mr Merdu, now walking!

Mr Merdu with Daniel Jan 2010

He exercised daily morning and evening on custom built bamboo bars

With visiting physical therapist, Mandy (facing), Daniel, and Made Reni ( local team member)

By March 2010, he'd moved onto crutches

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The Access Life Bali Clean Water Projects team are really excited to have recently completed a clean water project at the village of Pendem (western Bali). This project has been running for seven months. This project was the procurement of a spring source into a village in Pendem providing infrastructure and access to clean water.

Here is a short video we put together outlining the project:

You can watch all the Access Life Bali videos at anytime in the Media section on our website, or subscribe the Access Life Bali YouTube Channel to stay up to date with our latest videos.

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