John R., 53, Park Manager
When John R. set off on a saltwater fishing vacation in August 2001, he had no clue that he would be infected with vibrio vulnificus, a deadly "flesh-eating" bacteria that is found in warm, marine waters. The bacteria settled in his leg, causing an infection impacting all his vital organs, and giving him a heart attack and stroke. To save his life, his leg had to be amputated above the knee.
John had a remarkable recovery and returned to work one year later and is now the Park Manager at Oscar Scherer State Park. When John first met Alan Ross, CPO, at Suncoast Orthotics & Prosthetics, he was fitted with a Total Knee, but his rigorous physical schedule of managing the park, aiding campers, and conducting guided nature walks made him an excellent candidate for the Otto Bock C-Leg.
"Alan recommended the C-Leg and it made all the difference," John says. "I have the flexibility to walk down slopes, uneven terrain, and down steps. I wear it close to 18 hours a day and I don't have any problems with it."
John interchanges his C-Leg with the Total Knee when he is engaged in his favorite hobby - fishing. "I don't want to get the C-Leg wet, so I use the Total Knee when I'm in the boat," he says.
John, who is on call 24/7 for his job as park manager, appreciates the excellent service he gets from Suncoast. "One New Year's Eve, I 'broke' my foot and Alan came to the shop that night to fix it for me," he says. "They're great at Suncoast and always willing to take the time for whatever problems may come up."
Barbara K., 74, Shuffleboard Player
Barbara K. retired to Florida with her husband after raising 10 children. She was tired of the cold Michigan winters and looked forward to an active, but leisurely lifestyle.
But after experiencing leg cramps, she was diagnosed with poor circulation and amputation was advised. Barbara wanted to avoid that, so her surgeons agreed to a bypass. "After two weeks, the pain was too intense," she recounts. "I wanted the amputation and I haven't looked back since," she says.
Barbara now wears a pin locking suspension system with Ohio Willow Wood Alpha liners. "The Alpha liner is just wonderful," she says. "I play league shuffleboard four times a week and I love it. Now, I'm happy to get around, go shopping and enjoy retirement."
Barbara is so busy, she does occasionally wear the liner out. "But I just go in to Suncoast Orthotics & Prosthetics and Alan Ross takes care of me," she says. "He's wonderful and he does everything possible to make me feel comfortable."
"Overall, I'm very happy with the prosthesis and gel liner," she adds. "Every day is a good day!"
Doradene M., 72, Golfer, Recreational Walker
Having a below the knee amputation 13 years ago hasn't stopped Doradene M. from fully enjoying her retirement in Florida. Prior to moving to Venice in the mid-1990s, Doradene was a physical education teacher whose hobby was running. Her plans to participate in the Chicago marathon were halted when she was diagnosed with a clogged femoral artery and underwent a below the knee amputation. When she and her husband decided to move to Florida, her Chicago prosthetist recommended Suncoast Orthotics & Prosthetics for continuing care.
Now outfitted with a below knee endoskeletal prosthesis with supracondylar suspension, and elastomeric gel liner, Doradene maintains a vigorous schedule of walking three miles a day and playing 18 rounds of golf three times a week.
Doradene is not anticipating slowing down any time in the near future, and continues to work on fine-tuning her golf game.
Although improving her golf score is up to Doradene, she can rely on Suncoast to provide her advice and assistance whenever needed. "They are very helpful at Suncoast," Doradene says. "They listened to my needs, and helped me continue an active lifestyle."