Donald Ray: Back Up and Running

In late 2014, Donald Ray had an accident at work that caused him to have an above the knee amputation on his left leg. During his shift, Donald was working on the loading dock when another employee on a fork lift was going backwards and pinned Donald against a cart he was using. 


Donald never lost consciousness, but his limb was bent behind him during the incident. He didn't hear the forklift coming so had no time to move out of the way.  Luckily the cart he was working with in front of him did give a little; otherwise he would have been crushed.


After overcoming the traumatic experience, Donald had 5 surgeries in 16 days to save his limb.  The first 3 surgeries were to implant 3 titanium bolts and rods in his limb.  


Unfortunately he had a faint pulse in his foot and they had to amputate below the knee. There was so much dead tissue and concerns for infection that they decided to do an above knee surgery.


Over six months later, Donald is adjusting to life as an amputee. He finds that bending over and picking things up off the ground is the most difficult along with getting low and getting back up. He's able to stay positive because he wants to resume a normal life and go back to work. He wants to continue to live his life as normal as possible. 


He has remained positive during all of this by keeping those goals in sight.


His advice to other amputees who are struggling is to keep a positive attitude and start therapy to get yourself back up and running. He has received so much help from Jim Scharff PTA and Glenn Schober, CP at Optimus and his PT Nicole from Excel.


"The service here has been outstanding! They have gone above and beyond, I'm very lucky," Donald said. 

Vernice Myers: Everyone else said no, Optimus said "yes"

When you meet Vernice Myers, one of the first things that stands out is her spunky, tenacious personality. Considered a determined woman, life has thrown her many curve balls and challenges and she has risen to meet each and every one. During her last appointment in the office, she shared her story.


Vernice's journey began 14 years ago when she went in for surgery on her leg. It was supposed to be a simple procedure, but when she was in recovery, the nurse told her she had contracted MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), a strain of staph infection that has developed a resistance to antibiotics. 


Vernice really didn't know a whole lot about MRSA at the time, but it was that infection that ended up causing her to lose her leg. She went through 14 years of pain and complications, 9 surgeries, and countless setbacks.


She chose to keep a positive attitude and a singular focus, "Do not give up!!" She told herself this over and over. No matter what happened, she promised herself she would not give up.  


"My family helped me keep a positive attitude, especially my grand kids. They would encourage me when I was doing my physical therapy. They would tell me, 'You can do it!'"


Vernice learned a lot of lessons along the way. She learned that she needed to be her own advocate, and no matter what other people said, she refused to give up. 


"People can be cruel sometimes, but you have to learn to overlook that. You have to stay positive, keep fighting, keep pushing, and you will make it."


Getting a prosthesis was not easy for Vernice. She went through several years thinking that she would not be able to get one. 


"I was told by other companies that I was too old and too fat to get a leg [prosthesis], but then my therapist at the nursing home told me about Tim and Optimus. 

Get Up Stand Up Music Extravaganza 

On September 5th in the Columbus Commons, attend the Get up Stand up Music Extravaganza. The proceeds from the Extravaganza will go towards sending children to camp. The 5k in April raised enough money to send two children to camp, so let's raise enough money to keep sending the children to camp year after year.


The Paddy Rossbach Youth Camp is hosted at Camp Joy in Clarksville, Ohio. Patient Advocate, Aimee Eckert was able spend time at the camp as a counselor. 


"This was also my first year going so I observed and learned a great deal!  The campers range from the age of 10 to 17 and are in different places on their amputation journey.  Some were born with limb difference, some had elective amputations due to congenital difference, and others were due to trauma of some kind.


It was great to see the camaraderie of these youth given all that they have been through. It seems the one thing that sets them apart from people in their lives outside of camp, brings them together. 


I learned a lot about strength and perseverance after spending time with all of the amputee youth at camp. I also want to give a special thank you to the Amputee Coalition for putting on this event every year and forever changing the lives of amputees. Thank you."


Event information:
  • Live music concert featuring various local music bands:
    • o   The Ark Band
    • o   The Flex Crew
    • o   All Star Jammerz
    • o   Conspiracy Band
    • o   Shrub/Dub Flex
    • o   Lungu Vybz
    • o   Aarms/Faith Band
    • o   Milton Blake
  • Honorary guests:
    • o   Helen Bouchard
    • o   Amputee Coalition
    • o   Optimus Prosthetics
    • o   City of Columbus

This event is free for all ages and the proceeds will benefit the Paddy Rossbach Youth Camp for amputee children through the Amputee Coalition of America and Optimus Prosthetics.


"Let's send some kids to camp, mon!"


Sign Our Petition Against O&P Medicare Reform

Medicare, through its contractors, has proposed new coverage, coding, and clinical care guidelines that would have a profoundly negative impact on amputees across the United States.


If implemented, the policy installs new barriers that would limit and potentially deny access to appropriate prosthetic care. It eliminates coverage for certain prosthetic devices that amputees depend on for every step they take every day. It even would preclude amputees from using a prosthesis if they failed to meet the entirely nebulous and subjective standard of "the appearance of natural gait" while using the prosthesis.


We have started an online petition to the White House requesting this proposal be immediately rescinded. We need 100,000 signatures before August 31, 2015 in order to get White House attention.


Please take the following steps TODAY:

1. Go to the link and sign the petition

2. Circulate the link to all your known customers

3. Post the link on your own social media page and ask your friends and family to sign the petition
Jim's Corner- PVC Hurdles


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.


This month's issue of Jim's corner we are going to look a couple of progressions or additions to the PVC hurdles. Remember the idea is for the patient to learn how to bear weight on their prosthesis, balancing on their prosthesis, step up & over an obstacle (the hurdle) with the sound limb and then focus on emphasizing a soft sound limb landing. Remember to concentrate on keeping the hips even with each other and the pelvis level, and not leaning way over the prosthetic limb. Also remember to maintain a backward force within the socket to help maintain stability and prosthetic stance engagement.


PVC Hurdles-Sideways

The patient stands on the prosthesis and attempts to step slowly sideways in one direction over the hurdle. Once the patient lands on the sound limb they will usually have to swing the prosthesis out in front for clearance. Be careful when moving the prosthesis, the prosthetic knee can become unlocked and it will not automatically relock for stance. The patient will move sideways in one direction, then sideways in the opposite direction. 




Other Progressions
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

In This Issue

D = Dayton Area

C = Columbus Area


Course #1

D- 8/3, Beavercreek Health, 12:00 p.m.


C- 8/26, Monterey Care Center, 11:30 a.m.


Course #2

D- 8/26 Hawthorne Glen Senior Living Campus, 12:00 p.m. 


Course #3

D- 8/17 Upper Valley Medical Center, 12:00 p.m. 


Course #4

D- 8/19 Grandview Hospital PT, 12:00 p.m.


D- 8/24 Dayton Rehab, 12:00 p.m.


Course #5

D- 8/20 Maria Joseph, 12:00 p.m.


D- 8/6 Excel Sports Medicine, 12:00 p.m.


Course #6

D- 8/26 Clinton Memorial, 12:00 p.m.


C- 8/26 Franklin Woods, 12:00 p.m.


Course #7

D- 8/3 Buckeye Home Health, 8:30 a.m. 


D- 8/27 Springfield Regional Excel Outpatient, 12:00 p.m. 


Course #8

D- 8/5 Southview, 12:15 p.m. 


D- 8/31 Springfield Regional Excel Outpatient, 12:00 p.m. 


Course #9

D- 8/21 Resthaven,12:00 p.m.


Course #10

No courses 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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