Be Part of the Movement

Penta collects used prostheses to bring high quality, low cost prosthetic care to amputees all over the world.

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Restoring mobility and changing lives one step at a time.

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Components Shipped Overseas

Beneficiaries Walking

Countries of Operation

There are over 65 million amputees around the world – more than 85% of them cannot access or afford mobility.

The Problem

Amputees in low-and middle-income countries face countless challenges that prevent them from accessing the proper care they need. Medical facilities are far, and even a bus ticket to the nearest hospital can be a prohibitive cost on its own. There is often no guarantee that the nearest medical facility will have the necessary prosthetic services, as prosthetists are scarce and materials for the correct prosthesis difficult to acquire. When these services are available, they are typically far too expensive for an amputee and their family to afford.

At the same time, over 300,000 used, yet entirely functional, prostheses are thrown out in the United States every year. This supply of high quality prosthetic limbs is unusable here in the US, but has the potential to impact thousands of lives elsewhere.

Our Solution

Penta is the logistical bridge between the supply of used and discarded limbs in the US and the incredible need for these devices in low-and middle-income countries. Penta repurposes these prosthetic devices and empowers amputees with physical, economic, and social mobility in underserved areas.

More about us    —   Check out how we’re getting prosthetic limbs to Ukraine!
 

Supporters and Partners:

Click on the portraits below to meet the people that Penta has helped:

Nguyen Van Ha

Nguyen Van Ha  

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

During a routine night patrol in 1983, Ha stepped on a landmine, the detonation of which tore off his right leg. Decades later, Ha would become one of Penta's first patients.

Nguyen Van Ha

For Nguyen Van Ha, as with so many Vietnamese of his generation, war has been an inescapable, looming shadow. Born during the Vietnam War, Ha would later serve as a soldier in the Cambodian-Vietnamese War and to this day carries the tragic memory of that service everywhere. During a march at nightfall in 1983, Ha stepped on a landmine, the detonation of which tore off his right leg. Decades later, Ha would be one of Penta’s first patients. Shortly after he was discharged from the Vietnamese military due to his injury, Ha moved to Ho Chi Minh City, where he has lived with his family for over 30 years.

“As a veteran, I was eligible for the state’s prosthetic care program. Nonetheless, my journey to regain mobility has been long and far from straightforward. The difficulty is walking.”

For several decades, Ha was forced to use an old, heavy wooden prosthesis that was ill-suited to the wet conditions present during the long rainy season in Vietnam. It was particularly inconvenient for work, causing him great trouble moving around for his job as a security guard at a Buddhist pagoda. Ha often had to drag the limb, a repeated motion that caused both back pain and damage to the prosthesis. His lack of mobility also prevented him from fulfilling his lifelong desire to travel and see the world. When Penta began working in Vietnam, Ha was one of the first patients referred to us. Through our work with a local orthopedic hospital, he was fitted with a waterproof lower-limb device that was half the weight of his previous prosthesis.

“It’s lighter and better than the old device,” Ha said. “It doesn’t hurt. It is light, so it doesn’t interfere with my back problems.” He also praised its durability and stability. With the new device, Ha can climb the stairs of the pagoda and has resumed his job with vigor.

When we last spoke with Ha, he delighted our team with stories about his travels around Southeast Asia. Since being fitted, Ha has visited Indonesia, Malaysia, and Ha Long Bay in northern Vietnam. We were most surprised and thrilled to hear that while on a scenic boat tour of the Bay, Ha even jumped into the sea, fully clothed and with his waterproof leg, to save a young girl who had fallen overboard! As a veteran who has lived most of his life with a lower-limb amputation, Ha said he never thought he would ever be able to travel, let alone save someone from drowning, but with his new, trusty, lightweight prosthesis, he is living life to its fullest.

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Nguyen Thi Men

Nguyen Thi Men  

Vietnam

Moving around the clinic with her newly-fitted lightweight prosthetic leg, Men declared that she could truly walk, comfortably and unassisted, for the first time in 16 years.

Nguyen Thi Men

Moving around the clinic with her newly-fitted lightweight prosthetic leg, Men declared that she could truly walk, comfortably and unassisted, for the first time in 16 years. “I was in the hospital for a long period of time, for several years,” she said. She then received a free prosthesis from the Red Cross, but she did not have enough muscle strength to lift the device and move properly. Getting a more advanced prosthesis was out of the question due to her financial constraints, so Men went about without one. Through her friends in the amputee community, Men learned about Penta and reached out to our team. We referred her to one of our partner clinics in Ho Chi Minh City, where she was fitted with a below-the-knee set that we had provided to them. Like many of the amputees we work with, Men is amazed at the lightness and sturdiness of the titanium and carbon fiber parts compared to her old wooden leg. She can now walk around more easily and comfortably, and she says that the device has raised her quality of life both at work and at home. As Men and her husband are street vendors, mobility is key to their profession. Her new prosthetic device has allowed her to navigate the streets on which she works and the bustling markets in which she shops with renewed ease.

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Son Vu

Son Vu  

Vietnam

By all standards, Son leads an incredibly active life. At just 20, he already owns a coffee store, where he spends his mornings serving coffee to his customers.

Son Vu

By all standards, Son leads an incredibly active life. At an early age he already owns a coffee store, where he spends his mornings serving coffee to his customers. After that, he walks for more than 10 miles to different coffee shops and sings for charity. In his spare time, he break-dances with his girlfriend. His daily routine is made all the more impressive by the fact that Son Vu has only recently adjusted to his prosthetic knee joints. Son lost his leg in the same manner as tens of thousands of others in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. He was sitting in the passenger seat of his friend’s motorbike when it crashed into another vehicle on the road. Upon regaining consciousness, Son Vu learned that his left leg had been amputated above the knee. With his whole family gathered around him in the hospital, he remembers stifling his cries to keep himself and others strong and positive. However, things began to change when Son’s doctor recommended him to Penta’s program. Soon after, he was fitted with a used but extremely high-quality titanium knee joint. After months of rehabilitation and relentless practice, Son began to walk again, ride his motorbike unassisted, and eventually, work on his own. He now runs a successful business and loves to share his story as an empowering message to others. He participates in Penta’s educational programs for high school students and serves as a spokesperson for addressing the social stigma against limb disability in Vietnam.

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Senaka Ranasinghe

Senaka Ranasinghe  

Sri Lanka

Mr. Senaka Ranasinghe has been a diabetes patient for 15 years and as a result of his illness, his right leg was removed below the knee in 2017.

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Fatimah Sabo

Fatimah Sabo  

Nigeria

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L.W Ariyarathne

L.W Ariyarathne  

Sri Lanka

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What kind of devices can I donate?

Penta accepts the donation of lower-limb prosthetic and orthotic devices. Please make sure that the devices you are donating are:

  • In gently used condition or used for no more than 3-5 years.
  • Contain no broken or rusted components, especially pertaining to feet and/or knees.
  • If a donation contains a broken part that you cannot remove, please mark or identify the broken part before donating.
Can I donate the socket?
  • If possible, please remove the socket as this part cannot be repurposed. However, if removing the socket is not possible, please donate the device as is because we do not want this to prevent you from donating other valuable and life-changing components.
  • PLEASE DO NOT DONATE STANDALONE SOCKETS! We are currently seeking ways to recycle these materials and may accept standalone sockets in the future.
Can I donate prosthetic limb accessories?

In addition to prosthetic devices, we also welcome donations of NEW supplies and accessories for prosthetic devices such as prosthetic socks, liners, sleeves, gels, and creams. Please DO NOT donate any of these items if they are used.

What kind of devices can I donate?

Penta works with all types of health organizations but we look for groups that are

  • Capable of providing prosthetic limb fittings for free or extremely low cost to patients
  • Have a proven track record of helping amputees in an honorable and reputable manner
  • Have clean and well-maintained facilities through which to provide care
  • Employ trained and certified prosthetists and technicians to provide care to patients
  • Willing to provide patient information of amputees that have been fitted with devices donated by Penta Medical Recycling
  • Willing to allow consistent audit of prosthetic device supply to ensure that donated devices are available and are being used fairly
  • Agree to not resell or give any donated components to groups or individuals not working with Penta Medical Recycling or the black-market
Does Penta work with internationally based organizations?

Yes, Penta works with both US based and international based organizations. Penta seeks out international organizations that have the capability to fit amputees with Penta donated prosthetic limbs for little to no cost, while domestically Penta seeks out organizations that can help facilitate the distribution of limbs.

Can organizations that receive donated prosthetic limbs from Penta re-sell these devices?

No, Penta expects organizations to fit amputees for little to no cost and to not sell the devices.

What kind of devices does Penta supply to organization partners?

Penta customizes shipments based on the recipient partner’s needs. Thus, Penta can provide a mix of devices ranging from prosthetic limbs to modular components, prosthetic feet, liners, pylons, and socks.

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