Category: Success Stories

“JR,” Bilateral AK/KD

Guam:  7/19/2011. It happened in an instant. One minute he was driving his car on a familiar road; the next he was waking up in a hospital, with no recollection of the last few months and the day that forever changed his life.

It was a typical summer evening on the island of Guam.  JR, an assistant project manager at a construction firm, had just  finished his work for the day. “I was was headed out to do some training in preparation for my second half-marathon,” he recalls.  Running, whether in competitive events or just for fun, was his passion. As he drove, it began to rain. The road had recently been repaved, but the rain grooves had not yet been added.  JR remembers losing control of his car on the slippery road, but none of the accident itself.

“We received a call from the police saying our son had been involved in an accident and we needed to get to the hospital,” remembers JR’s mother.  There was case of mistaken identity, and she was told it was her younger son, Michael, who had been hurt. “I tried to call his cell phone, but there was no answer. Then I called JR’s phone, and the police answered.  I explained who I was and asked what color the car was. When they said it was silver, I knew then that it was JR and not Michael.”

Fortunately for JR, the accident had occurred just about a mile from the U.S. Naval Hospital where doctors had extensive training in treating traumatic injuries suffered by soldiers in combat. If he had been taken to the local hospital, JR would not have survived the night. Even so, there was little that could be done to save his badly injured legs; they were both amputated above the knee.

Two months after his accident, JR was transferred to a rehabilitation facility in Hawaii where he was fit with his first prosthetic limbs. He was eager to start walking and get back to living an independent life, but found it difficult to walk on them. Discouraged and depressed, he went back to Guam and actually made them into “stubbies” by removing the knee/shin parts of the prostheses and attaching the feet directly to the sockets. “I was able to get up and around like that, but that was not how I wanted to live the rest of my life,” JR explains.

Prosthetic care on Guam is extremely limited. A prosthetist would fly in every six weeks to provide necessary services for the island’s amputees. Repeated attempts to fit JR with comfortable sockets he could function in were unsuccessful, so he  turned to the internet for alternatives.  Once he had secured funding, he searched for a prosthetic socket system which would allow him to become active again, and to walk without a cane.

Impressed by what he saw on SCP’s website, JR contacted Rick Myers, and made arrangements to travel to the U.S. to be fit with new sockets and C-Leg microprocessor knees.

One week after being fit with his new prostheses, JR was ecstatic!  “I can’t stop telling everyone how comfortable these sockets are!” he exclaimed.  “I couldn’t sit like this in the other sockets I had.  I’m amazed every day I wear them.  Now I want to put my legs on in the morning.  I even took a couple naps while wearing my sockets.  I couldn’t do that before because I always felt the sockets.”

JR worked hard at gait training and learning new exercises to increase his core strength and balance. Within 2 weeks, he was not only walking with more control and confidence (without the use of a cane), he had learned how to walk on an incline, up and down stairs, and to get up off the ground without any support!

Video:  Week One

Video: Week Two


 

When he returns to Guam, the first thing JR wants to do is move out of his parents’ house.  “I’m really looking forward to getting back into my own apartment,” he says with a grin. “They (his parents) are ready to get me out of there!”  In addition, he is anxious to get back to working full-time on his firm’s latest project – a condominium complex.

But also high on JR’s list is training for and participating in the 23rd annual Cocos International Crossing which will be held in May.  Master swimmers come from throughout the Pacific region to participate in this event, a 3.52 km (approx. 2 miles) channel crossing from the uninhabited Cocos Island to the main island of Guam.

JR will return to the U.S. in June for any further training and prosthetic adjustments he may need.  He may even be ready to learn how to run again by then, having come full circle from that devastating summer of 2011 and looking forward to the summer  of 2013 – one full of hope and possibilities.

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Anthony (BK)

Anthony was ready to get on with his life. He had been fighting one battle or another since July 2010, when an accidental discharge from a shotgun hit his foot.
The damage to his foot was so severe that doctors were unable to save it and a Symes amputation (through the ankle) was performed. Anthony was released from the hospital shortly afterward, but his wound was not healing well. Then he suffered a pulmonary embolism (blood clot) in his lungs, and was rushed back to the hospital. When he was strong enough to undergo another operation, more of Anthony’s leg was amputated to remove degenerated tissue that had developed at the wound site.
Anthony’s first prosthetic leg was a pin lock system. It worked well for him  as he rehabilitated and regained his strength.  After about eight months, however, his residual limb developed “hot spots” which were very painful and often prevented him from wearing his leg. He was fit with a new pin lock socket, but the skin issues continued. Anthony tried to keep a positive attitude, but was frustrated that he was not yet able to get back to his active life.
Anthony searched for solutions, and that’s when he found Southern California Prosthetics.  He set up a consultation with Rick, who explained the options available and went straight to work. “Without hesitation, Rick casted me for my custom liner,” Anthony remembers, “and the rest is history! Rick is really dedicated to getting a proper and comfortable fit. I am very happy with the level of care I am receiving. I don’t feel like a number with dollar signs above my head – these people treat me like family. I love the SCP staff, and am so glad I found them!”

Anthony is back to doing all the things he loves, including his job as a ride inspector at Disneyland. And now that he’s wearing a prosthesis that doesn’t hurt, it’s much easier to enjoy working at “the happiest place on earth!”

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Zakya (BK)

Beautiful, spirited, athletic, determined, compassionate and a joy to be around – all these are words one would use to describe Zakya. She also happens to be an amputee, but in no way does she consider herself disabled. Parasailing, surfing, horseback riding, skiing, and running are just a few of the activities Zakya participates in. “Last year I went sky diving – that was one of the craziest things and the best experience of my life!,” she remembers. “Living in California, we are blessed with many beautiful hiking spots, so I especially enjoy hiking and taking pictures of nature. I usually do Spin classes twice a week and boot camp at the gym as part of my fitness routine.”  Zakya’s come a long way since November 18, 1988 – the day her life’s path was suddenly changed.

In 1988, Zakya was a young girl living in Afghanistan, which was occupied by Russia at that time. While walking home after school one day, a rocket exploded nearby, severely injuring her left leg. Zakya’s left foot was also injured in the blast, but the doctors focused on the more severe injury above her knee and neglected to treat the wound on her foot. “Since it was war time, doctors were busy and overwhelmed with the amount of patients they were seeing,” Zakya explains. As a result of not receiving timely medical treatment, she eventually lost her leg below the knee due to gangrene which started in her injured foot.

About two years after she was injured, August 1990,  Zakya’s father concluded it was not safe to remain in Afghanistan and arranged for her family to escape to India. That was in August of 1990, and Zakya lived in India with her family for the next seven years. One day she happened to see a movie about a dancer who had lost her leg in a car accident. A prosthetic company in Jaipur, India used aluminum and a used tire to make the dancer a special foot for dancing. “I want that leg!,” Zakya told her father, and he whisked her off to Jaipur where she was fit with her own dancing leg!  Although it was an upgrade from her old wooden socket and foot, because the prosthesis was made of aluminum it did not hold up to the rigors of her everyday life and her prosthetic issues continued.

Zakya’s family wanted her to have access to better prosthetic technology and care, so when her aunt from the U.S. visited in 1996, they decided to request a visa which would allow Zakya to return to the U.S. with her aunt and live with her there. The visa was granted and Zakya moved to Simi Valley, California, where she lived with her aunt for five years before moving to her current home in Thousand Oaks. In those five years, she learned to speak English and finished her schooling.

Working as an optician for almost ten years, Zakya now lives a very full and active life. “When I moved to Thousand Oaks in 2002,” Zakya says with a smile, “that’s when my fun life began! I came out of my shell, started going out dancing, making friends and dating. Three years ago I attended a Tony Robbins Seminar; it was a life-changing experience for me. There were about 2000 of us in attendance and he encouraged us to walk on fire! The idea was, if you can walk on fire without burning your feet you can do anything! The experience was very empowering.

I met Bonnie Jones of SCP through a mutual friend. I love the office environment and everyone there!  I have met so many wonderful people through SCP, including my good friend Corey Reed. When he is not busy snowboarding, we go to spin class and hike together.

I love my prosthesis; it feels like it is a part of me instead of just hanging off me.  For the first time ever, I’ve decided not to hide it with a foam cover.  I love the look of the carbon fiber and want to show off my leg. Recently, I completed an eight mile hike and had absolutely no socket issues!  This is definitely the best prosthesis I have ever had, and I am very thankful to SCP for helping me and making my life so much easier.”

What will Zakya do next?  “I’m going to try rock climbing,” she says. “I’m really excited about it!”

       

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Deborah (Bilateral BK and TR)

Deborah had always been physically active. In high school she played softball, volleyball, tennis and was on the swim team. Afterwards she continued to keep fit, training six days a week while going to college and working full-time. In 2005, Deborah, who was otherwise healthy, was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy and painful reconstructive surgery. She quickly recovered from the disease she called “the Monster” and resumed her busy life again without skipping a beat. Life was good until three years later, when Deborah encountered yet a bigger Monster.

December 22, 2008, started out as just an ordinary day. Deborah was planning to go to work as a Health Technician for the Chino Valley Unified School District, giving first aid to elementary school children. She loved her job there, working with and giving “TLC” to the kids, many of which were from dysfunctional homes. That morning she woke up sick, with flu-like symptoms. Her doctor thought the symptoms sounded more like food poisoning and suggested she go to the ER where they could administer fluids to keep her hydrated until it passed and then go home. “Little did I know,” Deborah remembers, “I’d soon be fighting for my life. I was diagnosed with a staph infection. The cardiologist later told me it could have started from something as small as a paper cut. We never did find out the actual cause. I think it just wasn’t my time.” The infection was severe and necessitated the amputation of both her legs below the knee and both hands. “Iv’e always believed and trusted God in my my life, but did then more than ever. I guess a touch of death meant I could be going home soon – heaven bound. I knew where I was going; I wasn’t scared,” Deborah explains. “My husband said he prayed that God wouldn’t take me, so I told him he is stuck with me now!,” she says with a laugh. “We laughed and cried, but there is more laughter now. We used to be close, but this has brought us even closer and made our relationship and faith so much stronger.”

As soon as her incisions had healed, Deborah was fit with her first set of prosthetic legs. “My first prostheses were suspended by pin sleeves,” Deborah recalls. “They started out fitting OK, but my second pair did not fit right at all. I was extremely frustrated when the issues could not be resolved, and I decided to make a change. I didn’t want to settle for an improper fit, pain, etc. I prayed that God would direct me and tell me what I should do. I had heard of a local woman who was dealing with the same illness and I contacted her. We talked for quite a while and I asked her if she had problems with the fit of her prostheses. When she said, ‘mine feel great!’ that’s all I needed to hear! I asked her to email me the link for Southern California Prosthetics (SCP) and immediately set up an evaluation appointment.”

Since that first appointment Deborah has been fit with prosthetic limbs that allow her to walk on the beach, ride her bike, and dance with her husband. She is also swimming and walking her little dog again. “Now, whenI go out and am approached by the curious and helpful people I’m able to share my story along with my Faith and encouragement is the outcome,” she says. Deborah offers the following advice to those who have suffered amputations, loss, or illness: “I encourage them to have Faith and choose Life! Be patient; it takes time! Keep trying to do the things you did before. It may not be exactly the same, but it FEELS GOOD just the same. Get outside and do things with family, friends, church. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Pride gets you nowhere. Practice walking on your prosthetic limbs and be kind to those around you – especially your prosthetist and his team!” she says with a smile.

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Lisa (Bilateral BK)

Lisa (far left)

It’s a challenge to convince 33-year-old Lisa Thompson that she is an inspiration to others, but the way she has lived her life can clearly give hope to others who have doubts and fears about their own abilities and future. An amputee since age 7 when she lost her legs below the knee to meningococcal meningitis, Lisa has little memory of her life before the amputations. “Getting around my house without my legs was never an issue,” she remembers. “I crawled and jumped and played like other kids – I just used my knees instead of feet!” Even though Lisa had been fit with prosthetic limbs, she found them to be cumbersome and painful to wear, so when she arrived home from school or play, she’d quickly kick them off like a pair of shoes.

Throughout her childhood, Lisa participated in many activities such as skiing, rollerblading and swimming. She found that she enjoyed swimming more than other sports. “I didn’t feel disabled when I was swimming,” says Lisa. “I was able to move freely in the water in a way that was not possible using my prosthetic legs. It was liberating!” Her dad made special swim fins for her so that she could compete on the school swim team, and she excelled at the sport.

“I was never self-conscious about my legs until I started high school,” recalls Lisa. “Until that point I went to school with kids who knew about my illness and what had happened to me so I didn’t have to explain it. When I entered high school that was no longer the case, and I began to feel awkward and more aware of my differences.”

After high school, Lisa attended the University of Southern California and earned a degree in elementary school education. She then went on to earn a Master’s Degree and teach both second and fourth grade students. During that time, Lisa also met and married her husband and best friend, Donny. Together they have raised three active, talented and beautiful girls (ages 6, 8 and 15). Lisa has an incredibly busy life. She recently accepted a position as an education specialist, supervising home school families. She is also very active in her church, teaching Sunday school and volunteering at various functions.
In 2010, Lisa began looking for an alternative to the pelite prosthetic sockets she was wearing. Although she had worn the same type of device since childhood, she was no longer able to do the things she used to. Although they were always somewhat uncomfortable, she was now finding them painful to walk in and Lisa had to cut back on many of her activities. Walking on her knees while at home was also taking its toll on her body. Lisa’s search led her to SCP, and that’s when she became part of our family.

“In the beginning,” says Lisa, “making the transition from my old system to new sockets with a silicone liner and suspension sleeve was difficult for me. I remember being told it was going to be a process, not an instant fix, but because I’m not at all patient with those things, it was very frustrating at times. Because of the extremely bony structure of Lisa’s residual limbs and her sensitive skin, custom liners made to the precise measurements of her limbs were a must, and if they didn’t fit exactly right, had to be remade. That process was especially stressful for Lisa. “Thankfully, along with my supportive and loving family, the SCP staff is also patient and understanding.”

So now the only time we get to see Lisa is when she is in need of some supplies or a minor adjustment. She is busy enjoying her wonderful life; as it should be!

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Corey Reed (BK and Visually Impaired)

When one door closes, another one opens. That’s the way 28-year-old Corey Reed looks at life.  It’s a choice he made after the horrific accident that robbed him of his sight and right leg. He walked through that open door to an uncertain future with faith and a positive outlook.  “Live by faith, not by sight,” is his personal motto.

Growing up in southern California, Corey loved the outdoors and playing sports. He played baseball and water polo during high school, and was an avid snowboarder. A talented athlete, many admired and envied his ability to skateboard, surf and snowboard with ease. Corey also enjoyed the thrill of driving – whether it was dirt bikes or cars.  “I had a need for speed,” he remembers. After graduating in 2001, Corey attended Moorpark College and worked for his dad, a roofing contractor.

At the time of his accident in 2005, Corey had just started an audio/video business with his friend, “T.”  On December 16th of that year, after finishing a job, Corey and T went to a club in Agoura Hills. “At that point in my life I was young and crazy and got into the partying scene,” he remembers.

“I don’t remember much about the accident, but alcohol was definitely involved,” says Corey.  “T floored it at an intersection and hit speeds of almost 100 miles per hour.” The car hit some train tracks and veered off the road, slamming the passenger side of the Chevy Tahoe against a tree. The SUV rolled over twice before coming to a stop.

T wasn’t seriously injured, but Corey was not so lucky. He suffered severe injuries to his face, jaw and hand, broke his ribs and shoulder, ruptured his spleen and was bleeding internally. A serious head trauma left Corey blind. His leg became badly infected, necessitating a below the knee amputation.

After awakening from a month-long coma during which he had no idea of the extent of his injuries, Corey immediately felt that his leg was missing. “I remember just trying to grab it and my dad wrapped his arms around me and said, ‘We’re in this together,’ And I just started crying.”

Although his body quickly healed, Corey had difficulty getting used to his prosthetic leg and accepting his blindness. His whole concept of himself and his life had changed and he didn’t know how to handle it.

Fortunately, he was put in touch with Extreme Mobility Camps, a nonprofit Christian ministry, which hosted a weeklong camp at Winter Park, CO. The camp, which provides recreation and fellowship for people with physical and visual disabilities, was a lifesaver for Corey.  People come from all over the country to ski and snowboard there. Corey had his first glimmer of hope that he’d be able to participate in the sport of snowboarding once again. He also met his girlfriend, Kayla – blind since age 4 – at the camp.

Once an avid snowboarder, Corey struggled for the first year. He wasn’t able to board as well as he once did, but was stubborn and at that time refused to accept much assistance. He became very frustrated when he continuously wiped out and heard all the others tearing past him on the mountain. At one point he broke down and cried.

When he returned to the camp in 2009, the love and encouragement he felt from people who understood him left Corey feeling inspired to do more. He was ready to accept that he needed to do it differently. He and his guide used a pole which they held at opposite ends and the guide maneuvered it to signal Corey as they negotiated down the slopes. Once again was able to shred with his “boys” with speed and skill. When he returned home he began to go to church, and his faith in the Lord provided him with even more strength and the realization that faith could heal.

Now Corey is a counselor at the camp, introducing others to action sports and giving them inspiration and hope. No longer does he say “when I get my sight back.”  “Because he can board now and all these doors are opening because of his blindness, it’s a litter easier for him to accept,” explains his girlfriend, Kayla.

Another door opened for him earlier this year, when a coach for the NSCD boardercross team invited him to compete internationally. Together they developed a headset guiding system through which a teammate gave him instructions as he rode down the course solo. They trained together for two weeks and the system worked great. “It’s all about trust,” explains Corey. His first event was to be the World Snowboard Federation Para-Snowboard World Cups in Alberta, Canada, but he was unable to secure the necessary funding to compete.

So with the door to snowboarding competition closed for the time being, a now confident and fearless Corey has discovered a passion for wake boarding. “It’s something I can totally do on my own, by feel, without a spotter,” he explains. He was able to get up on the first attempt! After securing his prosthetic leg in the bindings, Corey jumped into the water, lined himself up with the boat and said “hit it!” As he rose up onto the water he felt transformed. Grinning from ear to ear, Corey realized that was a defining moment in his life. He is now looking for opportunities to compete in the sport of wake boarding, but has found there are not many organizations which sponsor disabled wake boarding competitions.

We met Corey earlier this year, when a friend referred him to SCP.  “I was looking for a prosthetic leg that would feel more a part of me and perform well on and off the slopes,” explains Corey. “I feel fortunate that I was able to find a prosthetist who can understand my needs and give me the tools to do the things I want.”

Recently fit with a state of the art prosthetic limb, Corey is eager to begin the next phase of his life – paying it forward by getting involved in public speaking events. He feels especially led to share his testimony with young people, not only to warn them about the dangers of a “crazy” lifestyle, but to show them that faith and spirit can overcome even the most difficult challenges.

“I don’t know where this all is going to go,” says Corey. “It will be interesting to see where God leads me.”

We see many open doors in Corey’s future!

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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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Amy Purdy #1 at WSF Para-Snowboard World Cup! 8/18/2011

 

Double-amputee Amy Purdy came in #1 at the WSF Para-Snowboard World Cup! Evan Strong also took 1st place in the Men’s division!    Congratulations to both these AmAzInG athletes!!!!

Click here to read article

 

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Diane (BK)

In early 2009, Diane was in agony. Her ankle, which had been badly broken in a skiing accident back in 1971, was causing her more pain that ever before. The initial repair after the accident was done using screws to hold the ankle bones together. In 1995, two bones in the ankle were fused to increase her range of motion and reduce the swelling and pain she had begun to experience. It worked well for years. “I didn’t even have a limp,” remembers Diane. But in 2007, Diane, who has always loved flowers, began doing a lot of landscaping in her large yard and found that her ankle didn’t tolerate all the angles of the sloped land she was working on. “It was always swollen and sore, so my doctor performed another surgery to reduce some of the bone spurs,” Diane recalls. “That was a nightmare. Afterwards, the pain was worse than ever.”

After a couple injections of steroids which did little to alleviate her pain, Diane sought a second opinion from another doctor. This doctor suggested that the ankle be totally fused or, if she wanted to be active again, to amputate the leg below the knee. “Ankle fusions make it hard to walk,” explains Diane. “My activity level would be greatly reduced if I took that route. I was already feeling pretty limited in my activities even though I was still working full-time as a labor and delivery nurse. I went home and told my husband and family that I had made the decision to amputate my leg.”


Diane’s husband had difficulty accepting her decision; he said he didn’t want her to be handicapped. “I was ready to do it because I was really tired of the pain,” says Diane. “So, I started taking him to amputee support group meetings to ask questions and learn from amputees. A few months later, during a vacation in Cancun, Mexico I was in so much pain that walking to the pool or beach brought tears to my eyes. I turned to my husband and said, ‘honey, you don’t want me to be handicapped, but I am more handicapped now than I will be after I have my leg amputated!’ He just looked at me without speaking, so I continued to explain how I felt and reminded him that he was not the one with the pain. It was then that he began to understand that an amputation was the best route to take.

I then attended the 2009 Amputee Coalition national conference in Atlanta, Georgia. I was the only “pre-amp” there and I learned so much. Some people thought that it would scare me, but it actually gave me the information I needed to go ahead with the decision to amputate. Sometimes I think it might have been easier not to have had a choice, but I did, and I was not afraid. I saw many people doing amazing things with their prostheses. I also spoke with Stan Patterson of Prosthetic & Orthotic Associates in Orlando, Florida at the recommendation of several people I met at the conference. I liked him from the beginning, but could not see a way to start out with a prosthetist who was so far from my home in Colorado, so I didn’t pursue it.”

On Sept. 1, 2009, Diane’s leg was amputated below the knee. Her recovery was good, although complicated by other surgeries such as a repair to her rotator cuff and a torn meniscus in her knee. “It all just made me tougher!”, Diane says with a grin. “I received my first pin system prosthesis two days after the shoulder surgery and I was very excited to try it. I did really well learning how to walk on it and returned to work as a nurse, working 4-hour shifts, a little over 5 months post-amputation. Then my residual limb started to blister and my left knee was really swollen, so I was taken off work again.”

“During the time I was off work, I attended the 2010 Amputee Coalition national conference in Irvine, California, where I participated in the gait evaluation and learned that even though my gait looked pretty good, the bulbous tissue and blisters that I was getting at the end of my residual limb were due to the pistoning and pulling of the pin liner. I again met with Stan Patterson and decided that I wanted to try his negative pressure vacuum system in the hope that it would alleviate those problems. The timing was perfect since he had recently partnered in a new practice closer to my home, Southern California Prosthetics (SCP). I received a tour of the facility and was very impressed, so decided to check it out. The wonderful staff fit me with my first negative pressure vacuum prosthetic in December of 2010. I have not had any blisters or irritations of my skin since using this system. I simply love it! “

“I have received followup care at SCP, and find the environment to be very friendly and family oriented. My husband went with me for my first adjustment and enjoyed every minute he was there because he met so many great amputees and a staff who work so well with them and their families. He learned a lot by watching and listening, and was fascinated to see how the prostheses were made. SCP’s staff members are so good at educating everyone who wants to learn! As hesitant as my husband was for me to go through with the amputation, I would say that because of my great care, he is a total believer now. Through the process of working with me as I learned to walk with a prosthesis, he has observed first hand how having an amputation does not hinder a person’s life – it adds joy to it. My prosthesis works so well that I receive numerous comments from people about how they never would have known that I am an amputee if they couldn’t see it. I am back working as a nurse, exercising at the gym, and I have a pretty fulfilling life.”

I feel very blessed to have met this group of caring and talented people. It is like having a huge extended family.

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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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Irvine, California 92618
Phone: 949.892.5338
Email: info@scprosthetics.com

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New Prosthetic Products and Technologies

Functional Amputee Support Team (FAST), in conjunction with Southern California Prosthetics, cordially invites you to attend our next Amputee Education Series program: New Prosthetic Products and Technologies Each year new products come to market, advancing the state of the art for amputees worldwide. We are excited to have several of the top prosthetic manufacturing companies […]

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