Category: Above Knee

Cody (AK)

When Cody comes bounding into the room, you are struck by his adorable, sweet face and endless energy. It’s easy to overlook the toddler’s missing limb. Cody is quite independent and has learned to do nearly everything he wants to do, from everyday tasks to running, biking – even skateboarding!

On December 4, 2009, Cody was born with two legs, two feet, and ten little toes – but his right leg curled inward and the foot pointed up toward his body. At first his family thought his leg may have been broken in the womb, but x-rays soon revealed he was missing his tibia and knee. The diagnosis was Tibial Hemimelia, a rare congenital malformation that occurs in approximately one of every million live births. An amputation was performed when he was just 8 months old, above where the knee *would have been.*

Cody was placed in a body cast that covered his amputated limb and continued up and around his waist, with a cutout on the bottom to allow diapering. But that huge cast didn’t hold this little guy back; on his first day home from the hospital he learned to crawl!

At 12 months old, Cody was ready to learn to walk. He was fit with a straight leg (no knee)prosthesis which was suspended by two straps which went around his waist. He learned how to walk just like other kids at that age! But since the knee didn’t bend and the prosthesis could not get wet, he needed to remove it for certain activities such as going to the beach or riding a tricycle.

His supportive and loving family see Cody no differently than any other young boy. But they wanted to expose him to others *like him* with limb loss who are able to accomplish great things, no matter what the obstacle. Attending the Challenged Athletes Foundation’s San Diego Triathlon Challenge (SDTC) was the perfect opportunity to meet some of those awesome athletes. Although he was too young to understand, his family was very encouraged and inspired by the abilities of the competitors, thinking, “Wow, that’s amazing! Look what these people can do! Just think of what Cody could accomplish!”

It was at the SDTC that we met Cody and his family. When they expressed a desire to “upgrade” his prosthesis to one with a knee, we invited them to SCP. Soon Cody was fit with his first “bendy” knee, which he gleefully adapted to almost immediately. Just a few months later, he was running, biking, and playing at the beach. He recently attended a skateboarding clinic, and we have no doubt he will master that sport in no time!

Cody is happy and has a great disposition. He is patient when people, especially other children, stare at him and ask what *that* (pointing to his leg) is or why he has it. With all that he’s accomplished at less than 2 years of age, we can only imagine what Cody will be doing by the time he’s 5…or 10…or 20! “Thank you all for Cody’s awesome leg!,” says his family. “We love it! It is so great to be able to take him to the beach and let him play in the sand and water with his leg ON!

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Jamie (AK)

Jamie had always been a strong person, up for any challenge, and one day almost three years ago she was forced to put that strength to the test. ”On July 30, 2008, I was involved in a motorcycle accident,” recalls Jamie. “After spending 30 days in the hospital and undergoing three surgeries, the doctors were able to save my leg. It
had been severely broken though, and was reconstructed using two plates and multiple screws. A year passed and it was still not healing, so that’s when I made the decision to amputate my left leg.”

Jamie’s leg was amputated above the knee on October 14, 2009, but her spirit remained strong, and just two weeks later she was back to working 12-18 hour shifts as a college instructor! Less than two months after that she took her first steps using a prosthetic leg after spending a year and a half on crutches.

But six months later, Jamie was frustrated. “I was still experiencing intense phantom pain and had difficulty working the long shifts my teaching position required.” Not being the sort of person who takes difficult circumstances lying down, Jamie took the bull by the horns and began to search for solutions. In the summer of 2010 a friend she had met in an amputee peer support group referred her to SCP.

Jamie noticed an immediate improvement in her level of comfort after being fit with her first test socket. Fine tuning continued while the volume of her residual limb stabilized. When it was time to choose components for Jamie’s new prosthesis we asked what features/activities were most important to her. She definitely wanted to be able to wear high heeled shoes (she had a wardrobe of them gathering dust in her closet), so we chose an adjustable heel foot for her prosthesis.

In August 2010, although still in a test socket, Jamie felt confident enough to wear her prosthesis all day/night long to the Amputee Coalition of America (ACA) convention in Irvine, CA—and she did it with style! Jamie wore high heels for the first time since her accident!!! A local TV news station even filmed her feet as she walked around the convention center floor and ran the video on their 11pm broadcast. The delight was evident on Jamie’s face when her boyfriend arrived later that evening and saw her rocking those shoes!

Today, Jamie is walking comfortably and confidently. She’s an ACA certified peer visitor and active in the amputee community. She no longer has to limit her activities due to limb and/or socket pain. ”Now I can wear my leg for up to 18 hours a day, and if I’m wearing pants it surprises people (even other amputees) when I tell them that I am an amputee!”

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Alexus (AK)

When you meet Alexus the first thing you notice is her infectious smile. She just lights up the room with her upbeat personality and style! It’s hard to believe that this bubbly teenager and University student has a limb difference.

Alexus doesn’t remember her life before amputation.  When she was just 9 months old she suddenly became very ill and was rushed to the hospital. When she arrived there she quickly went into a diabetic coma.  That was serious enough, but yet another complication would change her life and her future; a blood clot cut off circulation to her right leg, and in order to save her life the doctors had no choice but to amputate it above the knee.

Over the years she has had plenty of prosthetic legs made, but she says  “there is no comparison between those legs and my current one!” Alexus came to us by way of a chance meeting her Mom (Melba) and a man she met while walking around a track. He was running on a prosthetic leg and  and saw a man running on a prosthesis. She was amazed at how well he ran and asked him for the name of his prosthetic provider. Melba never saw the gentleman again, but is sure that he was an angel sent to help her child.

Now Alexus is well on her way to take on the challenges of her busy college life without worrying about her prosthesis keeping pace with her hectic schedule. “When I walk with my new leg, I feel like it is a part of me. Most people can’t even tell that I am an amputee!”


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Contact Information

Southern California Prosthetics
9272 Jeronimo Road, Suite 106
Irvine, California 92618
Phone: 949.892.5338

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