Meet RJ! RJ came to us in 2017 when he was only 5 years old. He has what’s called a Chopart amputation. This means he still has his calcaneus bone (heel) intact! RJ’s amputation was caused by a lawnmower accident – did you know that lawnmower accidents are the leading cause of childhood amputation in the USA? Each year, 800 children are involved in a lawnmower accident, and 600 of these result in amputation. But RJ has not let this slow him down! He has finally grown tall enough to have a running leg! RJ loves to play sports, and this leg will help him achieve his goals. We are so proud of RJ, and can’t wait to continue to watch him on his journey.
Kathy came to AOPI for two reasons. The first was to be fit with a back brace, the second was to see her granddaughter Emily (one of our practitioners)! Kathy had a fall recently that caused a T12 vertebral compression fracture. This break did not require surgery, just bracing while she heals. The brace she was fit with is called an Aspen Horizon 637. This specific brace offers targeted compression for muscle support and pain relief. Kathy could tell the difference immediately and both she and Emily are so grateful to have this brace as she gets back to her normal spunky self.
Neil could be considered a jack of all trades. He is a soccer dad, works full time in insurance sales, cares for his home and yard, and is a fisher/hunter/golfer on the side. He has always been ambitious and when he lost his right leg to infection in 2020, that did not change. The day he got his first prosthesis from AOPI, Neil walked around Target for an hour; a HUGE achievement for anyone that is missing their limb. Now, nearly two years after his amputation, he is in his second prosthesis because the first one simply couldn’t keep up with him! Neil keeps inspiring us and others every day and we are so blessed to work with him.
Christopher has always been a wildcard. He became an above the knee amputee in 2019 after a bad motorcycle accident, but hasn’t let that stop him from living his best life. He still loves to kickbox, bike ride, and is always in the gym. Outside of exercising, Christopher spends all of his time with his children and is working on his new adventures – wood working and writing a novel. Keep up the amazing work Christopher, and thanks for always making us smile.
Jerri is a success story that has been a long time coming. We first started working with Jerri three years ago to brace a fracture for healing. After two years in this brace, her doctor cleared her to start walking again, but she still had significant pain in her leg. Now she is wearing a custom made carbon fiber PDE AFO. The posterior dynamic element (PDE) ankle foot orthosis (AFO) is a brace that stabilizes the ankle and lower leg by shifting the body weight from the foot up to the knee. Jerri had us in tears the day she put on this brace and walked in the office for the first time since her injury. There is still a long way to go with building up her strength, but she is improving every day and inspiring us along the way.
Gary has been working with us since mid-2020 after losing his right leg below the knee. He had a long healing process and finally got his first leg in January of this year. Now, three months later, he is back doing some of his favorite things. He loves Western dance and even showed us some moves at his last appointment. As a military veteran, Gary is proudly sporting an American flag design on his custom socket. He also has an adjustable ankle to be able to wear sneakers and his cowboy boots. Gary is living the life he had before his amputation and plans to return to teaching dance soon.
April is Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month. For more information about this, please visit the Amputee Coalition at April is Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month (amputee-coalition.org).
Casey came to us in 2019 as a right above the knee amputee. She lost her leg from necrotizing fasciitis, aka “flesh eating bacteria”, but hasn’t let that hold her back. Casey has a rock star attitude and is determined to return to running, hiking, beach dwelling, and living the life she loves. Casey is also a busy mom of two, so slowing down after her amputation just wasn’t an option. She is in a custom double wall socket with a microprocessor knee and hydraulic ankle foot. With this leg, she has been able to not only walk, but bike! Casey also has a “running” leg that she has been practicing with and she is slowing improving her balance and speed. For times when she wants to keep her prosthetic leg more discrete, she has a foam cover that mimics the shape of her left leg. Casey and her beautiful family have been a blessing to us here at AOPI and we are proud to call them a part of the AOPI family. We cannot wait to see what she does next!
April is Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month. For more information about this, please visit the Amputee Coalition at April is Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month (amputee-coalition.org) .
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 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!
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!
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 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 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 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!