Mick Dameron: Leaving Limitations in the Dust

In May of 2012, Michael "Mick" Dameron was riding his motorcycle when an elderly woman pulled out in front of his motorcycle. The resulting accident left Mick's left leg mangled, although he didn't lose consciousness. He call 911 himself and was airlifted to Miami Valley Hospital.

Mick's traumatic and immediate amputation left him without a leg below his left knee. On the second day of his hospitalization, Mick met Ellie Thompson, a prosthetic assistant at Optimus. She showed up in his room with a smile on her face, and she has been helping Mick with adjustments and prosthetic needs since.

Since his amputation on May 10, 2012, Mick received his first prosthesis in October 2012. Less than a year later, he bought himself a new motorcycle. As Mick said, "No matter what life deals you; you have to accept it and move on. Life goes on. Get out and do things."

Mick is part of the Ohio Patriot Bikers, an organization for motorcyclists here in Ohio. He took part in their 9/11 event in which he and other members rode their bikes to Washington D.C. to honor those killed in the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Mick said his care with Optimus has been great, saying the staff is a "joy to be around" and "show great respect to their patients." He also enjoys seeing the patient stories of achievement on the walls of our office. 

We're proud of Mick's personal achievements, and can't wait to see what the future has in store for him.
Finding Motivation in the New Year

The start of a new year is a chance to begin something new. This means you can work on overcoming a small fear you've had, or put a plan into action to achieve a goal. 


Whatever obstacles or barriers you have in your life, physical, mental, or emotional, Optimus Prosthetics is here to help. Our care is focused on you; it's about helping you through all parts of being an amputee, not just giving you a prosthetic device and sending you on your way.


If you, a family member, friend or patient are in need of patient care that is about as much of the mental and emotional as it is the physical, tell them about us. We'd love to help any way we can!


Lyndsey Wilcox: The Greatest Obstacles to Overcome are Sometimes the Smallest
Amputations sometimes come from accidents or various medical conditions. It's not very often that an amputation can be traced back to spider bites, but Lyndsey Wilcox's can.

In 1999, Lyndsey was set to have back surgery to prevent her scoliosis from worsening. Part of the procedure was giving blood for four weeks to store blood for the surgery. Lyndsey and her family were on vacation in North Carolina a week before she gave her first bag of blood. She woke up several times with spider bites all over her body, and was eventually taken to the emergency room when she began throwing up and not feeling well. The doctors said the spider bites did not appear to be poisonous, and prescribed Benadryl for Lyndsey's fever.

After returning home, Lyndsey donated her first bag of blood. Since it was her own blood, the blood was not tested for bacteria. While the blood sat in cold storage, a strain of bacteria grew in the bag. Lyndsey's back surgery went fine, but took a turn for the worse when the blood was returned to her. Her body began to fail with from the bacteria-laced blood.

Lyndsey was in recovery for 30 minutes when her body started to fail. From there, numerous things happened:
  • Lyndsey bled out internally, dropping her blood pressure to 24/0
  • She was placed in a coma with ice blankets around her to keep her temperature at 104 degrees
  • During her six weeks in the intensive care unit, Lyndsey bled out several times, all of her organs failed and her lungs filled with fluid.
  • She stroked seven times as a result of bleeding out
During this time, her parents were told they were going to lose Lyndsey from one thing or another. The bacteria she had in her body was related to the Black Plague, which targets a person's extremities. This resulted in Lyndsey losing both of her feet.

As she moved into rehab, Lyndsey lost vision from the strokes. The doctors told her she would most likely be able to function at a third grade level, as her IQ had dipped to 72, two points above what is considered to be mental retardation. Lyndsey's worse case scenario was to live life as a "vegetable" with her parents taking care of her every day. 

Miraculously, and against all odds, Lyndsey made a full recovery. She is the only known survivor of 12 known cases of her symptoms and bacteria around the world according to the CDC back in 2001.

While she survived, Lyndsey's life was changed forever. Her dream of becoming a cheerleader at Ohio State University were shattered. However, with the support system of her parents and remembering a passage from Philippians, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength," Lyndsey returned to cheerleading within a year.

She struggled fitting in at school as a teen amputee, as well as how to tell others, especially males, about her disability. It took time as Lyndsey transitioned into adult life for her to accept who she was. Another barrier that adult life introduced to her was navigating insurance and finances regarding her healthcare. Her parents had previously taken care of everything, but she has had to figure out the complex world of insurance. 

Lyndsey worked with the Nationwide Children's Hospital to talk to patients with recent amputations. Since joining Optimus as a patient advocate, she has gotten to continue helping others who went through the same scared, anxious feelings she and her family.

She also uses Optimus for her prosthetic care and would highly recommend us to anyone.

"I have been to other prosthetic companies in the past and I have never felt the strong feelings of pure care and desire to succeed from any other prosthesis than I have from those here at Optimus," Lyndsey said.

We are proud to have someone so strong, passionate and caring as Lyndsey on our team. She is great at what she does, and we look forward to a great future with Lyndsey.
Jim's Corner


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 we looked at one way to get the prosthetic foot out front for good prosthetic terminal swing. This is important because it is required for preparation for the prosthetic initial contact and prosthetic weight acceptance. For this to happen, it is important that the patient is first able to achieve proper prosthetic stance. Don't forget your building blocks or our "ingredients" that must include:

  • Proper residual limb extension
  • Proper prosthetic weight shifting
  • Proper prosthetic balance
  • Proper prosthetic weight bearing
  • Proper prosthetic terminal stance

This will help the patient progress to achieving sound limb initial contact and proper prosthetic stance disengagement that is required for safe prosthetic swing. The next potential set of problems which can lead to a fall that we discussed last month could be:

  • stubbing the prosthetic toe
  • failure to achieve terminal swing 
  • poor prosthetic foot placement

Let's look at another way to aid the patient in learning how to get their prosthetic foot out in front for terminal swing for preparation of prosthetic limb initial contact for prosthetic weight acceptance.


Sound Limb Stance - Prosthetic Limb Stepping and Kicking a Swiss Ball


This exercise is a progression or addition to the "kick the clinician's foot" drill that we discussed last month for patient's experiencing difficulty with advancing the prosthetic foot. The clinician will position a Swiss ball in front of the patient. The patient is to kick the Swiss ball with their prosthesis and prosthetic foot.


To start this drill, have the patient stand up in the parallel bars or a stable object for the required assistance and safety. From the standing position:

  1. Step forward with the prosthetic limb about of step length and place the prosthesis on the ground.
  2. Step forward with the sound limb full step length (prosthetic stance) loading the prosthetic toe (hopefully).
    • A step thru gait is required to achieve terminal stance and not a step to gait.
  3. Step forward with the prosthesis and kick the prosthetic foot into the Swiss ball.
    • Hopefully the patient has their weight on their prosthetic toes, and is in terminal stance for stance disengagement to occur to allow the prosthetic knee to bend for a good kick.
  4. Stop and then repeat the process.
    • Be mindful of the prosthetic knee after they have kicked and its position.



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

No classes scheduled


Course #2

D- 1/5, Buckeye Home Healthcare Dayton, 8:30 a.m.


D- 1/6, Buckeye Home Healthcare Cincinnati, 8:30 a.m.


Course #3

No classes scheduled


Course #4

C- 1/13, Flint Ridge Nursing and Rehab Center, 12 p.m.


D- 1/14, Pinnacle Point, 12 p.m.


D- 1/16, Clinton Memorial, 12 p.m.


D-1/19, Blackstone, 9 a.m.


D- 1/22, Soin, 12:15 p.m.


D- 1/23, Springfield Manor, 12 p.m.


C- 1/27, Columbus Colony Elderly Care, 12 p.m.


D- 1/28, Crossroads, 12 p.m.



Course #5

D- 1/9, Resthaven Greenville, 12 p.m.


D- 1/12, Oaks of W Kettering, 12 p.m.



Course #6

D- 1/15, Good Sam, 12 p.m.


D- 1/21, Greene Memorial, 12 p.m.


Course #7

C- 1/8, Columbus Rehab, 12 p.m.


Course #8

D- 1/7, Kingston of Miamisburg, 12:15 p.m.


D- 1/19, Cypress Point, 12 p.m.


Course #9

D- 1/5 KMC Rehab, 12 p.m.


Course #10

D- 1/8, Wayne, 12 p.m.


C- 1/16, St. Ann's Rehab, 12 p.m.


D- 1/26, Sanctuary of Wilmington, 12 p.m.


D- 1/29, Kindred of Lebanon

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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