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Pizza Oven Prosthetics

CBN.com - MONROE, LOUISIANA (ANS) Captain Steve Lindsley was sent to Iraq as a military police officer. But after what he saw on the streets of Baghdad, he wanted to do more than keep the peace. Lindsley decided to make the most of his 14 months away from his family and job, by helping others experience another level of freedom.

Sometimes Steve Lindsley is a captain in the National Guard, and he makes artificial limbs in his regular job at Methodist Rehabilitation hospital in Louisiana.

When he was sent to Baghdad as a peacekeeper, he quickly saw a new way to use his skills. With donated parts, and even a pizza oven once used by Saddam Hussein's family, Lindsley helped create prosthetics for injured Iraqis, and gave them another type of freedom.

Stateside, Lindsley makes artificial limbs at a Methodist rehabilitation center in Louisiana. But when he was called to duty in Iraq as Capt. Steve Lindsley of the 112th MP Battalion, this army national guardsman decided to put his skills to good use by starting Operation Restoration.

“A lot of folks walking around on crutches or rolling in a wheelchair because they didn’t have an artificial limb,” Lindsley told United Methodist Television.

According to a broadcast tape available from UMTV, one of his first patients was 14-year-old Ali (ah-LEE), who lost a leg when he was hit by a truck. After using a crutch for seven years, he’s walking again with a new artificial leg.

“We dropped him off at a military checkpoint about two miles from his house, and he walked the last two miles and totally forgot his crutch,” said Lindsley.

U.S. companies donated parts for the prosthetics, but sometimes Lindsley had to improvise -- heating plastic to mold the artificial limbs with a pizza oven from Saddam Hussein's family.

“We put it to a lot better use than Saddam did,” he said.

The Baghdad clinic will stay open at least until this summer with the support of Methodist Rehabilitation Center in Jackson, Mississippi. United Methodist Mark Adams is president of the hospital.

“Ideally, I think it would be nice for us to have an ongoing relationship with the clinic, to be able to help bring some of those folks in Iraq over here and train them,” Adams said.

That way, the clinic can continue helping patients like Iraqi veteran Fallah Hasan Ali, who once fought for Saddam, and lost both legs in the war with Iran.

The Iraqi Veteran said: “I am, feel very, very, very happy. And I want to thank Mr. Lindsley.”

And thanks to Operation Restoration, this former Iraqi fighter is now taking steps to freedom.

The Baghdad clinic opened with two patients, and now has nearly 70. Equipment and supplies worth more than half a million dollars were donated to the clinic.

More from ASSIST News Service
Assist News Service is brought to you in part by Open Doors USA, a ministry that has served the Suffering Church around the world for nearly 50 years. You can get more information by logging onto their Web site at www.opendoorsusa.org.

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