Kinston companies team up to provide mobility around the world
Two Kinston companies, EP Legacy, Inc. (EPL) and EastPoint Prosthetics & Orthotics, Inc. (EPO), teamed up on a project and are providing mobility to amputees in the Ivory Coast in West Africa.
Remember those big rusty looking containers that sat on the vacant lot at 310 Airport Road in Kinston for several months? They are now changing lives in West Africa and the people of Kinston, Lenoir County and all over North Carolina can be proud to say they are changing an entire country in Africa.
EPL (non-profit) and EPO (for-profit) are organizations that are the brain-child of Paul Sugg, his wife Emily and their son Tyler. They teamed up and first brought the containers on site at the beginning of August, 2017 and the initial work began. They were transformed into a patient care facility and also a laboratory for fabricating artificial limbs.
“The very first team that joined us was from The Gate here in Kinston," Sugg said. "They have needs of their own, rely upon donations and yet they came out to support those less fortunate than themselves. It shows the love this community has for the people of the world."
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People stepped up to join the effort by supplying labor, supplies and donations. Mike Sugg, Paul’s brother, served as contractor overseeing the project. A large fundraiser dinner and auction was held at the Exchange in downtown Kinston and was part of the nationwide 2017 Fidele Tour.
Remember seeing those blue signs around town that said Fidele Tour? Many gave auction items as well.
Timeline for the containers:
August 2017 -- Containers arrive on site in Kinston
September 2017 -- Fidele Nationwide Tour to raise money with stop in Kinston
December 2017 -- Open House for containers on site in Kinston
January 2018 -- Containers loaded on trucks and carried to board ship in Norfolk
January 2018 -- Containers loaded on ship bound for Africa
March 2018 -- Arrival of containers in port city of Abidjan, Ivory Coast, West Africa
March 2018 -- Loaded on trucks for 8-hour trip to Tanda, Ivory Coast
June 2018 -- Containers set up and first amputee clinic performed
The total expense for the project and June trip was $75,000.
“We are still raising money for future trips to go yearly to the Ivory Coast to provide artificial limbs for people in need," Sugg said. "I am often asked why I do not help folks here in the US. The fact is that we do help folks here in the US. Those in developing nations either do not have the money or this medical care offered to them. I like to think I am making a difference in the quality of their lives by providing this medical care to them."
The Ivory Coast has never seen anything like this type of laboratory in their country. As word spread, people were coming with all kinds of amputations to be seen at the newly outfitted containers. Fifteen patients were provided with artificial legs on their trip in June during their two-week stay.
Future plans include 3D printing of artificial limbs with solar uninterrupted power supply. This fall, a college student from the Ivory Coast will be here to study and train to be able to keep the facility open year-round for the people in country. This will include training at EPO and local colleges.
While here, Sugg also hopes to provide both a structure scanner and iPad for this young man.
"Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to EP Legacy, Inc., a 501 (c) (3) organization, to help continue their efforts," he said. "'Thank you' will never be able to be said enough for what you do to provide mobility and a way for patients to be able to provide for themselves and their families."