Allison Eiynch is a University of Mary freshman studying radiologic technology.
“I eventually want to go to the hospital like a children’s hospital and do scans for them,” Eiynch said.
Eiynch has multiple synostosis syndrome, brachydactyly and bi-lateral hearing impairment.
The conditions make it difficult to bend her arms to reach her face. Things like straightening her hair or putting in hearing aids can be a challenge.
“When I came here I was supposed to have an aide but that didn’t work out, so the professor here sent me to the OT pro bono clinic professor and they reached out to me and asked if I was interested,” Eiynch said.
Students at the Occupational Therapy Pro Bono Clinic on campus work with clients in the community and sometimes fellow students.
During six weeks in the fall semester, Morgan Ziesch, Karley Garcia and Casey Cullinane helped create adaptations for Eiynch, like a longer hair brush and straightener.
“Seeing her be able to do all of that by herself, like that sense of accomplishment was awesome, we were so jazzed. That’s why we’re doing this. That’s why we want to be occupational therapists,” Cullinane said.
Eiynch says they also came up with a solution for her hearing aids, which would sometimes slip when she tried to put them in by giving her a new material to set them on.
Since last semester, she says she’s pretty much able to do everything on her own, thanks to the clinic.
“They all work together and they’re all very nice and kind and want to help you to your fullest potential,” Eiynch said.
“It was a wonderful experience for us. I mean we can talk about it in the classroom all day long but as soon as you put it in a real life perspective and be able to apply it to a real person, it just makes it completely different, and it just makes things click, like oh yeah we learned about that in class. Seeing it in the real life perspective is very meaningful,” Ziesch said.
The clinic also works with pediatric patients and others in the community who need medical attention they may not be able to afford.