Optimus Patient Lends His Basketball Skills to Assist With "Prosthetics for Therapists" Series
Meet Air Force Captain, Chris Trobough, Optimus Patient and Transfemoral Amputee. Chris was diagnosed with Soft Tissue Sarcoma in July, 2010, which resulted in approximately 2 dozen tumors in his left leg and, ultimately, amputation above the knee in March of 2011.
We first met Chris the week prior to his amputation surgery. "I was so impressed with Chris, right from the start," says John Brandt, CPO for Optimus Prosthetics. "Here was this young dad, with young kids, facing this challenge - but he was always upbeat, always positive. He was active and strong, and was already setting goals for after the amputation. I knew he was going to be a great prosthetic candidate!"
When asked how he was able to stay so positive and get through such a challenging situation, Chris cites three things: 1. His faith in God. 2. His two little girls, Whitley Claire and Natalie. And 3. "I never forgot the fact that really, I'm blessed. There are so many people out there who are so much worse off than me. There are people who have lost both legs. I always remembered that, and never felt sorry for myself."
When asked how his life has changed since the amputation, his surprising answer was, "Not much, really. I'm still doing almost all of the things I did before. I might not do them at the same level, but I'm still doing them - like playing basketball, and running for example."
Speaking of running, Chris will begin working with his therapist in the Spring specifically on running, as he has his eyes on a goal he set for himself - to run the Air Force 5K this September! Knowing Chris as we do, we have no doubt he will reach that goal, and we are looking forward to being with him to see it happen. In fact, some members of the Optimus Prosthetics staff are making plans to join him on his run!
As for his basketball skills, Chris was gracious enough to lend them to the Optimus Academy for the newly updated "Lower Extremity Prosthetic Gait Training" course for therapists.
"Chris was a pleasure to work with as he volunteered as a model for our Gait Training course," says Scott Schall, CP and creator of the "Prosthetics for Therapists" series. "The video shoot took 6 hours over 3 visits to Optimus and will be used for the 'Gait Training Program' and 'Advanced Gait Training Activities' segments of the aforementioned course."
"I was glad to help out," Chris says. "I want to do whatever I can to help anyone in the amputee community - both patients and therapists - to gain any knowledge that will help the process. If they can see the face of someone who is out there doing it - that might give them the motivation they need to keep going."
The other part of his willingness to help out, Chris explained, was because of his experience with Optimus Prosthetics. "Working with Optimus has been great! With them - there are no egos. There is no sense that 'I'm the professional and I know what's best for you.' Instead, they really listen. Any time I felt like something wasn't quite right, they worked with me until it was. You can tell that they really want what's best for the patient - and I was more than happy to help them in any way I can."
Be sure to look for Chris in action in the updated "Lower Extremity Prosthetic Gait Training" course; part of the "Prosthetics for Therapists" series!