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Marcus Thomas: Giving Up Was Not an Option

One year ago, Marcus Thomas experienced one of the most traumatic events in his life. He was undergoing a bypass in his left leg and the attempt failed. Because of this, he had to undergo a below the knee amputation.


Six years prior, Marcus underwent the same bypass surgery on his right leg and it went fine. The shock of having an amputation from the same surgery was stressful and heart wrenching post-surgery.


Marcus dealt with many challenges when it came to the amputation, but he has persisted and looked to the bright side, although he admits he still has his moments. After surgery, he had a "two-hour cry" because he felt lost without his limb.


His biggest challenge was accepting that he no longer had a leg below the knee. After surgery, he realized that he needed to overcome what had just happened to him and he knew he could be a better person because of the incident.


During his post-surgery stay at the local hospital, Optimus Prosthetics' Patient Advocate Aimee Eckert paid a visit to Marcus that was life changing to his recovery. Right away, Aimee asked how he was doing and he told her what happened during surgery. Immediately, she pulled up her pant leg and told him they had something in common.


After Marcus saw Aimee's leg, he was inspired and realized that giving up was not an option. Aimee's prosthetic leg is customized with pink lace and Marcus decided he also wanted lace to remind him how helpful Aimee was throughout the process.


"I'm so glad I met her, and she led me to Optimus - you just can't get any better than Optimus!" Marcus said.


Aimee knew Marcus had it in him to persevere and work through the emotional struggles that come with losing a limb.


"When I first met Marcus, he was really down about what was happening, but once I showed him my leg and he saw how well I got around, he gained a really good attitude about being an amputee - and he's had it ever since!"


Marcus said his advice to other amputees would be to keep their head up because there is always something better coming along. Marcus is currently staying in a nursing home and his enthusiasm helps others like him to become inspired like he was when Aimee visited him. Marcus is an inspiration to others because he is a happy-go-lucky type of person and his positive attitude is life changing to others.

Optimus Prosthetics New Laboratory Updates

Optimus Prosthetics is excited to unveil our new in-house laboratory. The process took a lot of hard work, time, and cooperation to get through, but it is finally finished. The new laboratory area is now 26 ' x 33 ' totaling 887.75 square feet.


One of the most impressive outcomes was that throughout this entire renovation, the lab technicians were able to keep up and deliver everything on time. Although the renovation inconvenienced many people due to the limited space to work with and the time it took, our amazing lab staff still met all project expectations.


Lab Supervisor Matt Williams said when he started at Optimus Prosthetics the lab was small, cramped, cluttered, and although Russ (senior lab technician) was doing a great job of getting the work completed, the lab was not optimal for working in.


The business was predicted to grow, so a renovation was in order for Optimus to continue providing superior services to our customers. Many improvements have been made to the lab area to better suit the growth of the patients in need.


Steps were taken to make the area more efficient by creating new work stations designated for a specific job or function. In addition to the more efficient work spaces, more lab space was created by knocking down a few walls.


This increased the look and feel of the lab tremendously. Although it looks as if it is much bigger than it used to be, only space equal to a 12' x 14' room was added. The key to this renovation success was eliminating things in the lab space that were not needed like extra steps, having tools in the right spots to eliminate confusion, and removing clutter by getting rid of items that were not being used.



Now, the lab technicians do not waste time by walking across the shop to get tools because they are in their respective work spaces. Becoming more efficient and providing more space for our lab technicians to produce the same quality of work as always was a result from the renovation that we look to pay off for the company in the long run.


Optimus Prosthetics is excited to offer in-house customized prosthetics to our patients. Providing in-house customization allows you to know exactly where your prosthesis is coming from and allows Optimus Prosthetics to provide the high level of care you deserve.

Jim's Corner
Prosthetic Weight Bearing: Part Two


Optimus Prosthetics Jim Scharf
Jim Scharf, PTA

The goal of "Jim's Corner" is to provide helpful information and be a resource for those helping patients fitted with prosthetics learn to use them correctly in order to enjoy a better quality of life as an amputee.


Last month's issue continued the theme of establishing good prosthetic weight bearing with a progression of the ball roll exercises. These exercises might be too aggressive for some patients.  This month we will look at a set of exercises using the same principles, but with different "high tech" equipment, consisting of a paper plate, a Frisbee or a coffee filter. I have found the following exercises to be good for the patient to increase their prosthetic weight bearing and residual limb strengthening.


These exercises are also a good way to identify if they are truly bearing weight on their prosthesis; if they are putting too much weight on their prosthesis they won't be able to move the plate or Frisbee.


To perform these exercises, the patient stands evenly on both legs with a stable object for the required assistance and safety.  Try to concentrate on keeping the hips even with each other, pelvis level and not leaning too much over the prosthetic limb. Maintaining a backward force within the socket will help to maintain stability.


Paper Plate/Frisbee, Forward and Backward

The patient stands on the prosthesis balancing on the prosthesis and attempts to move the plate/Frisbee in a controlled manner with the sound limb in a forward & backward direction.

Repeat 5-15 times.



Paper Plate/Frisbee, Side to Side

Same as the above, but moving the paper plate or Frisbee side to side. Repeat 5-15 times.



Paper Plate/Frisbee, Clockwise and Counterclockwise

The patient stands on the prosthesis balancing on the prosthesis and attempts to move the plate in a controlled manner with the sound limb, safely and comfortably in a circular direction; clockwise 5-15 times then counterclockwise 5-15 times.


A couple of other progressions with the above exercises would be for the patient to make figure 8s on the floor below or do a cycle of the alphabet.


Jim Scharf, PTA, Prosthetic Assistant/Gait Specialist

Jim has been a Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant since 1988.  Jim has worked with lower extremity amputee patients throughout his career.  He serves as a Gait Specialist and Liaison when prosthetic patients are meeting with their therapists. Feel free to contact Jim if he can assist you in any way at:jscharf@optimusprosthetics.com.

In This Issue

D = Dayton Area

C = Columbus Area



Course #1

D - 6/13/2014 - Springfield Manor - 12:00


Course #2

D - 6/4/2014 - Springfield Regional Excel Outpatient Clinic  - 12:00


C - 6/5/2014 - Flint Ridge Nursing and Rehabilitation Center - 12:00


D - 6/16/2014 - Blackstone  - 9:00 am


Course #3 - none scheduled


Course #4

C - 6/3/2014 - Laurels of Norworth - 12:00


C - 6/10/2014 - Scioto Pointe - 12:00


D - 6/11/2014 - Good Samaritan Hospital  12:00


D - 6/25/2014 - Southview Hospital - 12:00


Course #5

D - 6/12/2014 - Wilson Memorial Hospital  - 12:00


D - 7/2/2014 - Greene Memorial Hospital - 12:00


Course #6

D - 6/5/2014 - Laurels of Shane Hill - 12:00


D - 6/9/2014 - Cypress Pointe - 12:00


D - 6/16/2014 - Kettering Memorial Hospital - Course #6 - 12:00


C - 6/17/2014 - Isabelle Ridgway - 12:30


Course #7 - none scheduled


Course #8

D - 6/26/2014 - Shiloh Springs  - 12:00


Course #9

D - 6/19/2014 - Otterbein by Atrium - 12:00


Course #10 - none scheduled



Optimus Prosthetics, Dayton
8517 North Dixie Drive, Suite 100/300
Dayton, Ohio 45414
(937) 454-1900


Optimus Prosthetics, Columbus
3132 Olentangy River Road
Columbus, Ohio 43202 

(614) 263-LIMB (5462)

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