Patient Spotlight

Brittany

April is Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month – celebrating with us today is Brittany. Brittany is a ray of light with a bubbly personality and unmatched optimism. We have only recently started working with her, but are blessed that she considers AOPI family. She lost her left leg below the knee about 2 years ago after a small toe stub developed into infection and ultimately amputation. She received her first leg from a different company, but came to us because she wanted something that would keep up with her very active lifestyle. Brittany works part time, is pursuing an education in occupational therapy, and is a full time mom to a young son. We made Brittany a new socket to keep up with her in the gym and are looking forward to helping her run again soon. This video is the first time she’s walking in the office with the new socket and she is rocking it. You are amazing and an inspiration, Brittany!

For more information about Limb Loss and Limb Difference please visit the Amputee Coalition at April is Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month (amputee-coalition.org) .

Kristian

Kristian is currently being seen in our Athens office for a cranial remolding helmet. She is being treated for both plagiocephaly and brachycephaly, different forms of “flat head syndrome”. She just received her helmet in January and, thanks to her Momma, is already well accustomed to wearing and accessorizing it. The helmet works by applying slight pressures and allowing the “flat” areas to grow more and catch up. With average treatment times of 6-8 months, Kristian is well on her way to graduation where she will have a more symmetrical head and no longer need to wear the helmet. Until then, we are looking forward to seeing Kristian for follow ups and seeing her new fashion bows!

Dean

We have been working with Dean since he was in diapers and are blessed to know him and his family. Dean was diagnosed with PFFD (peripheral focal femoral deficiency), which resulted in an above the knee amputation on his right side. Dean’s first leg was fit when he was only 15 months old, but now at the age of 7 he is finally tall enough to be fit with higher activity parts. Dean’s new leg has a custom Star Wars socket on top of a hydraulic knee and carbon fiber foot. This is one of the fastest legs Dean has had and he, and his family, are very excited. Dean couldn’t stop running and jumping in the office because this new leg keeps up with him so well! He loves to play soccer and cannot wait to go to practice and we cannot wait to see how well he does at his next game! Way to go Dean!

Linda

Meet Ms. Linda! After losing her leg in a work accident in 2018, she has overcome every obstacle thrown her way. She has had multiple surgeries on her left knee in addition to the loss of her right leg above the knee. Despite these challenges, her personality shines with her infections laughter and optimism. She is walking on a microprocessor knee and looking forward to her next challenge, a pole dancing fitness class. Ms. Linda also loves to dance and is inspired by music from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. She can be seen here practicing her walking in our new Columbia office.

Paisleigh

Paisleigh is a little ray of sunshine and always smiling. We are currently seeing her for a cranial remolding helmet. This is used to treat plagiocephaly, or “flat head syndrome”, and is a very common and correctable condition in infants. The helmet applies slight pressure on the head to create a more symmetrical shape while the head is still growing. Paisleigh has already improved from a 5 to a 3 (out of 5) on the CHOA Plagiocephaly Severity Scale. Seeing Paisleigh for appointments is a highlight of her practitioner’s day and we are looking forward to graduation where she no longer needs to wear the helmet!

Rickey

Rickey has been a patient with AOPI since 2012. He lost his right leg below the knee from infection, but has not let that slow him down. Rickey is very active in his community and his church and has a passion for helping others. He is a retired veteran and works with other veterans providing support and encouragement. He is always smiling and can put anyone in a good mood, especially when showing off his dance moves. He can be seen above doing his famous “Electric Slide”.

Maela

Maela is one of our spunkiest patients in a little package. She is 6 years old and started with us almost 3 years ago. She is a right hemipelvectomy patient, meaning that the right leg and part of her pelvis is missing. Her current leg is made with a hip, knee, and running foot fit to her custom butterfly socket with flexible in-lay for cushion. Maela loves to play soccer and has been practicing with her prosthesis to kick the ball and run. She has also learned how to ride her scooter with her prosthesis and can now outrace her brothers. We are so excited to see her grow and improve on her leg every visit. From hopping and using crutches two years ago to walking and running by herself today, Maela is absolutely amazing and we cannot wait to see what happens next!

Logan

Logan has been a patient here since late 2020 after a boating accident injured his left foot and ankle. He had several breaks and needed a brace that could stabilize him. Logan is an extremely active young man and the standard brace options were not strong enough to maintain his busy lifestyle. The posterior dynamic element AFO (ankle foot orthosis) was the perfect option for him. This is a custom made carbon fiber brace that helps to stabilize the ankle by offloading its weight. This PDE AFO is actually made similar to a prosthetic, where is shifts the weight of the body from the foot to the patellar tendon so the knee acts as the main supportive surface. Logan is seen here being fit with his PDE brace and practicing walking up and down the stairs, something he has not been able to do without assistance since his accident. He is very hopeful this will get him back to his everyday life and back to the gym.

Jules

Following a motorcycle accident, Jules Morgan required a left foot amputation.  Currently, he spends a LOT of time at the gym with both therapy and his personal training for the paralympics as well as bodybuilding and CrossFit competitions.

Jules notes that his number one challenge is finding patience to take things one step at a time.

Cole

10857883_10153014832074369_4264984262820010851_nCole Wooten was born with a rare skin disease that affected his feet and eventually caused the need for amputation of both.  Recovery initially was quick and easy, he says, but because of the skin condition, prosthetics were difficult, but he and his doctors have been working through trying the best possible liners for Cole.

Cole enters the eighth grade this fall and plays tennis, basketball, and track and field.  His number one goal right now is to become a paralympic athlete.  Currently, he holds the national record in his age division for shotput and discus.

“Never use your disabilities as an excuse,” says Cole.  “Keep your head up no matter what life throws at you.”

Justin Scurry

1551624_10152227464999369_77217718_nAfter being in an accident in 2007 which resulted in him becoming an above knee amputee and also damaging his left leg, we get to see Justin enjoying life after the accident. Through countless hours of physical therapy and hard work, he has become an example and inspiration to those who meet him.

“Every day that I wake up in is a challenge, and I beat it!” says Justin.  “I wouldn’t change the life I have now for anything in the world.”

Justin’s future goals are to be part of a grounds crew for college or professional athletics.  Justin is currently a baseball coach at Lexington High School.

Justin’s philosophy is this:  “Perfection is the ultimate goal in life — to be perfect.  However, no one is perfect in anything they do.  But, if I drive for perfection every day, then I will reach every goal that I shoot for.”

 

 

 

 

Don Vickery, PGA Pro

“I’m an AK/BK. That means I’m missing right leg below my knee–my left leg above my knee,” he told News 12.

In 1989, he and his dog went on a walk he’d never forget. Vickery stepped on a mine on Fort Gordon property. His legs were lost in the explosion, and his life had changed forever.

“You have to look at it differently and you have to believe in yourself and you have to believe that you can do what it takes to get through that,” Vickery said.

He did just that. He learned to walk again, but this time it was a bit different.

“To me, it feels like my upper body is carrying my lower body instead of my lower body carrying my upper body,” he said.

Roy Rice of Augusta Orthotics and Prosthetics gave Vickery the ability to walk again with two new prosthetic legs, but perhaps an even greater gift, Rice gave a depressed Vickery a new love.

“He had never played golf before,” Rice said “Fortunately, I had just bought myself a new set of golf clubs. Don was kind of depressed, so I just gave him my old set.”

“I told Roy, I said, I’m not sure that I’ll be able to do it Roy. I’m afraid that, you know, I’ll slow the course down or I’ll be in the way,” Vickery recalled.

Nevertheless, Vickery embraced it.

“And it probably wasn’t a week later, he come in there, and he was going to the driving range and practicing. He said hey I think I can do this, and he just continuously got better,” Rice said.

He become so good, in fact, that he’s now a certified PGA professional.

“People walk in where I’m at and they say, ‘Hey, Pro!’ You have no idea what that feels like for them to say, ‘Hey, Pro.’ So, it really has changed my life,” Vickery told News 12.

He says others can follow in his footsteps, and he offers some advice.

“There’s an old saying that if your mind doesn’t mind then your body doesn’t matter,” Vickery said.