Shelia Love: A Story of Faith, Hope, and Love

Two cardiac surgeries, two amputations and severe depression - This is Shelia's journey.

It all started when Shelia Love went to the hospital with stomach issues.  Shortly after arriving, doctors discovered that Shelia had fluid around her lungs and serious heart problems, which if left untreated, would have possibly killed her within just a week. 

One month after her initial visit, Shelia went in for open heart surgery and spent over a month in intensive care recovering, only to go in for another cardiac surgery shortly after.  During a cardiac follow up, doctors noticed that the toes on one of her feet were turning black due to poor circulation.  Doctors worked hard to save her toes, but in the end, had to amputate all toes on her left foot. 

Shelia began the healing process, but shortly after starting rehab, she encountered another setback.  Just two days before Christmas, Shelia's surgeon discovered that her surgical site had become badly infected.  And on Christmas Eve, Shelia learned that doctors would have to amputate her leg below her knee.

"I wanted to flip out, but then I just started praying and praying and praying," recalled Shelia.  "Then I got calm, and it felt like there were angels all around me.  I felt at peace." 

Thankfully, Shelia was blessed with a full recovery, but her journey was long from over.

During her recovery, Shelia battled with severe depression.  At times, she felt like she just didn't have any hope, which is right about the time when Shelia was introduced to Optimus Prosthetics patient advocate Lyndsey. 

"Every time she (Lyndsey) came to visit me, I cried," described Shelia.  "I LOVE Lyndsey.  She made me feel so good.  She came in and told me her story.  She showed me her legs, and she gave me hope to live because at one time, I just didn't feel like I had any hope."

Throughout Shelia's recovery, Lyndsey accompanied her to doctor's appointments, visited every week, encouraged her and walked her through this difficult time.

Shelia has now received her prosthesis and is beginning the process of getting back to life.  To others facing amputation, Shelia recommends prayer and patience.

"It will be scary at first.  It is a scary feeling losing a limb and you will be like a newborn baby, having to learn everything all over again, but hang in there," Shelia encourages.  "You gotta pray, you gotta have patience and you got have the right people around you.  If you don't have the right people around you, it's hard."

One of those "right people" that Shelia had around her, besides her Optimus family, was her godson Rodney.  He was able to attend most appointments and was a huge source of encouragement and strength for Shelia as she adjusted to everyday life at home.

We have been honored to work with Shelia, and when we asked her if she would recommend Optimus Prosthetics to a friend or family member, without pausing Shelia exclaimed, "YES!!  Everybody here at Optimus is beautiful!  Come to Optimus!!"
Bryan Fisher: Getting Back on the Bike
For Bryan Fisher, 2015 kicked off unlike any other.

After years of painful vascular issues, Bryan and his surgeon made the difficult decision to amputate his right leg below the knee on January 6, 2015.  As an avid motorcyclist and family man, he was terrified this amputation would keep him from providing for his family and still participating in the hobbies he has enjoyed his entire life.

One year later, 2016 looks much brighter.  Bryan is back to riding his bike, driving his car and walking tall knowing he overcame his biggest challenges as a new amputee, but the journey wasn't easy.

Starting on the day of the amputation, Bryan had to face the fact that he would walk into the hospital with two legs and leave with only one.  Upon coming out of surgery, Bryan was greeted by Optimus Prosthetics prosthetist Ellie Thompson who applied his zippercast, designed to protect his leg from being bumped or banged around.
 
In the following weeks, Ellie visited Bryan every day, showed his nurses how to apply the zippercast, and when moved to rehab, showed the staff how to properly apply the shrinkers.  Just five weeks after the amputation, Bryan was fit with his first prosthesis, and was walking with just a cane within two weeks of taking his prosthesis home.

Throughout the year, Bryan has received unending support from Ellie and the Optimus staff, his family and a close friend of over 30 years that is also a below knee amputee and member of the motorcycle club. 

When asked about advice he would give to other amputees, Bryan said this, "Practice.  Don't be discouraged.  Speak with other amputees, tell your story and listen to theirs."
Prosthetics for Therapists Course
Jim's Corner- 
How to Put on a Prosthesis
 
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 discussed the importance of knowing how to put on a prosthesis and discussed how to put the liner on. As clinicians, we have to know how to help the patient get their prosthesis on, especially when they have just received their prosthesis. So this month, we are going to look at how to put a lock & pin prosthesis on. 

Donning a Transtibial/Below Knee Lock & Pin Prosthesis
  1. To start, the liner must be rolled all the way inside out.
  2. The base or the "umbrella" must be placed directly on the distal residual limb.
  3. Then it must be rolled, not pulled on, but rolled all the way onto the residual limb.
  4. If the pin is not lined up correctly, then the patient can experience skin sheer, discomfort and the pin will not aim up with the hole in the locking mechanism.
  5. After the liner has been rolled on, don't forget to apply a sock if the residual limb has lost volume or have been instructed to. Make sure that the sock is not over the pin but the pin is through the hole.
  6. Then place the residual limb inside the socket and gently push down into the socket until several clicks have been heard.


Donning a Tranfemoral/Above Knee Lock & Pin Prosthesis
  1. To start, the liner must be rolled all the way inside out.
  2. The base or the "umbrella" must be placed directly on the distal residual limb.
  3. Then it must be rolled, not pulled on, but rolled all the way onto the residual limb.  Remember if the pin is not lined up correctly then the patient can experience skin sheer, discomfort and the pin will not aim up with the hole in the locking mechanism.
  4. After the liner has been rolled on, don't forget to apply a sock if the residual limb has lost volume or have been instructed to.
  5. Then place the residual limb inside the socket and gently push down into the socket until several clicks have been heard.


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
C - 2/9, MCE Hospital Therapy Dept., 12:00 p.m.

C - 2/18, New Albany Surgical Hospital, 12:00 p.m.

C - 2/22, St. Ann's Hospital, 12:00 p.m.
 
Course #2
C - 2/5, Monterey Care Center, 12:00 p.m.

Course #3
C - 2/2, Echo Manor, 12:00 p.m.

Course #4.
No Courses Scheduled

Course #5
C - 2/2, The Gables at Green Pastures, 12:00 p.m.

C - 2/25, Thurber Retirement Community, 12:30 p.m.

Course #6
C - 2/16, McNaughten Pointe, 12:00 p.m.

Course #7
No Courses Scheduled

Course #8
C - 2/11, Select Specialty, 12:00 p.m.

Course #9
No Courses Scheduled

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)

Optimus Prosthetics, Cincinnati
4623 Wesley Avenue, Suite B
Cincinnati, OH 45212
(513) 918-2320
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