Linda Fortin: The Strength to Move Forward

"Help! I've fallen and I can't get up."

This famous line from Life Alert commercials has often been parodied and used as a punch line. However, the story of Linda Fortin demonstrates why a fall in the home is no laughing matter.

Linda was living by herself when she tripped and fell in her home. She fractured her hip, leaving her unable to get up or get to the phone. The fracture left her right leg and foot with little to no blood flow.

Linda laid on the floor for three days until her niece came to check on her after not being able to get in contact with her. Her niece found Linda lying on the floor and immediately called for help. Linda was rushed to the ER. After a few tests to determine the level of blood flow in her right leg, it was determined a transfemoral amputation was the best course of action.

Within 48 hours of being at the hospital, Linda had her amputation and her pelvic bone surgery.

It was hard for Linda to keep a positive attitude shortly after her operations. The "why me?" feeling common with amputees and the sudden realization that her life was forever changed had an effect on Linda. To make matters worse, a wound brought on weeks of cleaning and debriding procedures and several months with a wound vac.

Linda had to learn to depend on others for basic, daily needs and assistance. This was a change from her strong, independent lifestyle. Living at the rehab facility has been tough. However, numerous visits from Optimus Patient Advocate Lyndsey Wilcox have helped cheer her up, especially during long stretches when her family couldn't visit her. 

Linda has gradually opened up, smiled and talked more in the past few months. She received her prosthesis on Sept. 29, which will help her to regain her independent life. While she is still at the rehab facility and has a long recovery to go, we're certain Linda's strength will help her achieve her goals.
Ashley Brady: 10 Seconds of Fame, A Lifetime of Lessons
Ashley Brady has enjoyed a little bit of fame, although it came about for the wrong reasons. You may have heard about Ashley and the incredibly cruel note that was left on her windshield by a neighbor who had parked in Ashley's handicap parking spot at her apartment building.

But Ashley's story starts long before then. Her amputation was the result of being hit by a car while trying to move her broken down car to the side of the road. The accident ripped her leg off instantly.

Since then, a mean note from a neighbor has been just one of the struggles Ashley has had to work through. She's had to work through realizing her limitations as well. 

"There are some days that going to the grocery store seems like such a task," she said. "Playing with my niece and nephews now is drastically different. I can't run around with them, or even keep up with them right now. Just the whole realization that you have to approach tasks differently is mentally straining."

Ashley said every time she thinks about something she can't do, she reminds herself about all the things she can do. She said she knows her life, being able to stand and walk after her accident are blessings.

There are tough days, she said, and there have been times when she wanted to give up. However, leaning on her loved ones and those who have been through the same struggles has helped.

One of those supports has been Optimus Patient Advocate Aimee Eckert. As an amputee herself, Aimee and Ashley could discuss questions Ashley had that she didn't feel comfortable asking anyone else. She also has loved her experience working with John, Jim and Megan throughout her recovery and rehab process.

With the support of her family, friends and thousands of encouraging people across the Internet, we have no doubt Ashley has a bright future ahead of her.
Continuing Education Program Revamped
  
Jim's Corner- Turning
 
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.

In last month's issue of Jim's corner we took a look at how to teach a new amputee patient how to make a turn. Turning can be very frustrating, frightening and difficult for a new prosthetic patient. If the patient doesn't have a good ability to turn, it can greatly increase the odds of the patient falling.

Once we have educated the patient how to make a right turn and a left turn and they have learned how to make a turn with the figure-8 drill (from last month) we can continue to progress the patient with a slalom course.  Place objects (cones/cups/poles/bolsters/chairs etc.) in a row for the patient to maneuver around. The patient will have to turn right and then an immediate left and so on. This will continue to increase the patients turning skills. Then move from a straight line to a weave pattern.


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
upcoming
D = Dayton Area
C = Columbus Area

Course #1
No Courses Scheduled
 
Course #2
No Courses Scheduled

Course #3
D- 10/7, Hawthorn Glen, 12:00 p.m.

Course #4
D- 10/19, Upper Valley Medical Center, 12:00 p.m.

Course #5
D- 10/12, Dayton Rehab, 12:00 p.m.

D-10/14, Grandview, 12:00 p.m.

Course #6
D- 10/22, Excel Sports Medicine- Urbana, 12:00 p.m.

Course #7
No Courses Scheduled

Course #8
D- 10/8, Excel Sports Medicine- Springfield

Course #9
C- 10/9, Highbanks Care Center, 12:00 p.m.

D- 10/28, Southview, 12:15 p.m.

D- 10/28, Soin Medical Center, 12:00 p.m.

Course #10
D- 10/23, Resthaven- Greenville, 12:30 p.m.

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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