Globetrotting with a Prosthesis

Brian Donnellan has always been active, but two years ago he was hit with the news that his leg would need to be amputated below the knee. Over the past two years he has been partnering with Abilities In Motion to achieve his goals of an active lifestyle. 

This past month, Brian took a two week European trip with stops in Ireland and Italy. “This was the best trip ever, because I got to do everything that I wanted to do,” said Brian. He also shared some pro tips with us about traveling with a prosthesis:

  1. GET A TUNE UP. A few weeks before traveling, Brian made an appointment to see the experts at Abilities In Motion. They were able to check his prosthesis and were able to make adjustments before he traveled. Brian was also fitted with a swim leg*, which is a secondary device that is waterproof. This helped Brian use smaller showers that are typical when traveling internationally. 
  2. GIVE YOURSELF EXTRA TIME AT TSA. We have all been told to arrive early and allow extra time to get through security, but this is especially true when wearing a medical device. Brian strongly recommends using the handicap line when going through TSA. Brian also chose to wear shorts to make inspecting his leg easier. 
  3. CHECK AN EXTRA BAG. According to Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA), a suitcase that contains only “assistive devices” are exempt from checked bag fees. You will want to notify the agent that your bag contains such equipment and will likely be asked to open the bag to verify its contents. Remember, baggage can be misrouted or lost during travel, so it is important to make sure you carry on your most important equipment and supplies. 
  4. ASK FOR EXTRA LEG ROOM. Brian asked his airline for extra leg room to help accommodate his prosthesis. The airline responded to his request, and because he was comfortable assisting in the event of an emergency, this allowed him to sit in an exit row. During a longer flight, this extra room can be invaluable. 

During his trip, Brian was able to enjoy the Cliffs of Moher. “I felt comfortable the entire time. My wife was a little concerned that I was standing on a 1,000 foot cliff, but it was easy,” says Brian. He was also able to walk though the Coliseum in Rome and walked for miles on his trip.

“I just proved to myself that I can do whatever I want to do, and nothing is holding me back now.”

HEAR THE INTERVIEW HERE:

Please note, the information contained in this post is based on this individual’s experience. Individual situations vary. We recommend that you do your own research to fully comply with TSA and airline policies and restrictions. 

Additional Information from TSA:

EXTERNAL MEDICAL DEVICES:
https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/whatcanibring/items/external-medical-devices

DOT, Guide: Air Travelers with Developmental Disabilities:
https://www.transportation.gov/sites/dot.gov/files/docs/Developmental_Disabilities_Guide_0.pdf

*Swim Leg: Standard prosthetic legs are not able to be exposed to water because of some components are not waterproof. Swim legs are designed for swimming, bathing and other aquatic activities. They are typically not covered by insurance, but Abilities In Motion works to help accommodate patients with affordable solutions when necessary. 

Congrats Josh!

Abilities In Motion’s Josh Sust has completed the training to become a certified peer visitor through the Amputee Coalition. The mission of the Amputee Coalition is “To reach out and empower people affected by limb loss to achieve their full potential through education, support and advocacy, and to promote limb loss prevention*”

JOSH’S STORY: November 12, 2011 will forever be known as Corporal Joshua Sust’s Alive Day or the day he cheated death. On mounted patrol in Helmand Provence, Afghanistan, his unit encountered an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). Josh’s last memory that day was watching his helmet fly off his head, and he suffered major injuries to his left leg and arm.

After three years of constant pain in his leg, Josh went through an elective procedure to amputate his badly injured leg. He had been inspired by the examples of his fellow Marines that are enjoying active lives with below knee amputations. Josh’s relationship with Abilities In Motion began when he was fitted for an IPOP (Removable Immediate Post Operative Cast) by Tom Walsh.

This device was key to his recovery because it allows the patient to keep his/her leg straight and protects the incision site.

On December 23, 2015, Josh received his new prosthesis, and he told the staff at Abilities In Motion, “It was the best Christmas present ever. Just being able to take that first step was an amazing feeling and accomplishment”. It was the start of a new life.

Josh’s enthusiasm and zest for life is contagious. Because he wants to continue to pay it forward, it was a natural move to make Josh a valuable member of the Abilities In Motion team. “Josh is able to speak to patients with an empathy and understanding that only someone with his experiences can express,” says Tom Walsh. “He is able to coach and inspire patients to keep moving forward”.

If you or someone you know could benefit from a visit with someone living with limb loss, contact our office today at (513) 245-0253.

 

 

*Source: Amputee Coalition

Born to Ride, Ron Davis

For Ron Davis, riding a motorcycle is not simply a hobby… it’s a way of life.

In an instant everything changed. While on his bike another driver turned in front of him and he was involved in an accident that caused him to lose his left leg below the knee. Almost immediately, Ron was determined to ride again. “My goal at the beginning was to be able to be back on a motorcycle in less than a year,” said Ron. 

When Ron was not getting the prosthetic solutions he needed from his provider, his doctor referred him to Abilities In Motion. The professionals at AIM were able to identify Ron’s particular needs and gave him components that he needed to ride again. 

“Abilities In Motion [has] been fabulous. You actually gave me a leg that I was looking for. I was looking for something that would actually pivot, the other place I was going to said I couldn’t have that. [AIM] made all the difference in the world, in my ability to walk from flat plain to going up hills, so I am thrilled with Abilities In Motion.”

Two days before the anniversary of his accident, Ron rode again. It was an emotional moment for Ron and his wife, as his motorcycle club gave him an ovation that he won’t soon forget. 

Learn more about Ron by watching the video above.

Abilities In Motion has two locations in Cincinnati and is always seeking new and innovative ways to meet the needs of lower limb amputees. More information, including stories of other veterans can be found on their website at www.abilitiesinmotion.com.

Jay Estoquia, ABC Certified Prosthetist.

Jay Estoquia has completed the residency he began with Abilities In Motion and is now an ABC (American Board of Certification) Certified Prosthetist. Estoquia is a graduate of Bellarmine University with a Bachelor of Arts in Exercise Science and the University of Washington where he received his Masters Degree in Prosthetics and Orthotics.

Jay was born in the Philippines and immigrated to the United States, making Cincinnati his home when he was four years old. “It was very difficult at first, because I didn’t know the language, and I had to begin school quickly after landing in The States”, he recalls. Jay adapted quickly and excelled in school. When the time came to choose a career, he was initially uncertain.

“I knew I wanted to be in a profession where I was using my creative abilities to help people,” says Estoquia. When he discovered prosthetics, it was a natural fit for his skill set. “In this profession you get a great mix of anatomy, kinesiology, engineering and art. I am naturally very curious, and in this field, I’ll always be exploring and learning new things.”

Jay states that his experience at Abilities In Motion has given him opportunities to be involved in managing prosthetic care very soon after our patients’ amputations. “The removable IPOP (immediate post-operative prosthesis) we apply in the operating room allows me to connect with the patient very early on, guide them throughout the early rehabilitation process, and expedite the process of acquiring a prosthesis.”

Providing quality patient care and outcomes is his top priority priority, and Jay has quickly gained a stellar reputation among patients, physicians, staff, and caregivers. Jay states, “I want to be a part of a practice that is setting the standard for personalized, compassionate, and robust prosthetic care in Cincinnati.”

Marcus King, AIM Employee Featured

Marcus King, Senior UC DAAP Program helped bring 3D Printing to Abilities In Motion

Over the past few years, Abilities In Motion has been working to incorporate 3D printing in our practice. AIM partnered with the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) and invited Marcus King to take a lead role in this project.

Marcus provided outstanding leadership and made significant progress during his time at Abilities In Motion. He designed and built a custom 3D printer that was  able to provide significant R&D for printing custom covers and sockets.

Marcus’ work is featured here, and his work will be featured at DAAPWorks (more information here or below).

Abilities In Motion would like to congratulate Marcus in his upcoming graduation from the University of Cincinnati and are thankful for his contribution to help Abilities In Motion MOVE FORWARD!

DAAP Works Show – April 24-28, 2018
Location: University of Cincinnati (DAAP) — 5470 Aronoff St. Cincinnati, Ohio, 45221
Tuesday, April 24th: DAAP Works Opening Reception (5pm-6pm)
Wednesday, April 25th: Cross Discipline Professional Night / IDSA Awards Night (5pm-9pm)
Thursday, April 26th: 9am-9pm
Friday, April 27th: 9am-9pm
Saturday, April 28th: 9am-5pm

Express Yourself… Custom 3D Printed Covers Make a Statement.

Donna Ellis has been coming to Abilities In Motion since 2011. Because she is unable to get a tattoo, she started looking for other ways to make a statement. When she learned that Abilities In Motion could get her a customized 3D printed prosthesis cover, she was all in.

Ms. Ellis’ design features a lion that is inspired from her Christian faith and she picked orange because it’s her favorite color. Our design team went to work to perfect her look. Covers are made from materials that are durable and lightweight. Custom colors allow amputees to express their style and taste.

3D printing is new to the prosthetic community, and Abilities In Motion is leading the way in our region with this new technology. For over 25 years, Tom Walsh has been on the cutting edge of prosthetic design, and he is excited about the possibilities. “In many ways we are limited in what we can offer our patients because of lack of selection or the expense. With 3D printing, the options and potential are almost limitless,” said Walsh.

“I love coming here, this is like home, and it’s very comfortable. Tom and his team are accommodating and always looking for ways to help you live your life as an amputee,” said Ellis.

If you or someone you know would like some help expressing themselves with a custom 3D printed cover, contact us today for a free consultation.

Area Realtors Support Local Veteran

The American Warrior Initiative and area realtors presented Abilities In Motion’s Josh Sust a $5,500 grant last week. Josh became an amputee as a result of his service in the US Marines during his third deployment in Afghanistan. The grant will allow him to hire a personal trainer to aid him in his recovery.

Lori Boswell, Sean Parnell and Louise Thaxton present $5,500 grant to Josh Sust.

Louise Thaxton and Sean Parnell of the American Warrior Initiative came to Cincinnati to educate area realtors on how to best interact and assist veterans. “My goal was to stir them, bring out their patriotic spirit and help thousands of veterans like Josh. None of us can do everything, but each of us can do one thing,” said Thaxton.

Area realtors gather to learn how to best assist veterans returning home.

The group recognizes the important role realtors can play in helping veterans once returning home from deployments. “Guys come back forever changed, sometimes with physical and mental injuries. It’s important for them to have a support group that reminds them that even though they come back different, it doesn’t change the core of who they are,” said Parnell.

Josh made it clear that he intends to pay forward this opportunity, and that attitude is on display everyday at work. Josh’s injury has put him in a unique position to connect with the amputee patients he sees everyday at Abilities In Motion. “Every day he reminds our patients that their injuries do not define them, and he motivates them to overcome the challenges they face,” said Tom Walsh the Lead Prosthetist at Abilities In Motion.

More information about the American Warrior Initiative can be found on their website at www.americanwarriorinitative.com.

Abilities In Motion has two locations in Cincinnati and is always seeking new and innovative ways to meet the needs of lower limb amputees. More information, including stories of other veterans can be found on their website at www.abilitiesinmotion.com.

Prosthetic Equipment for Athletes

Abilities In Motion is always seeking new and innovative ways to meet the needs of our patients… including athletes. www.abilitiesinmotion.com

Before losing his leg in a vehicle accident, Scott Lane ran marathons. Abilities In Motion working to equip him for his next race and his active lifestyle.

“We’ve seen Scott over the years, so we know what works for him. We give him the latest running feet to trial and he picks the one that he likes.”

Scott’s prosthesis was fit with a custom cover printed in our lab on our 3D printer. Innovation is a core value at Abilities In Motion as we continue equiping athletes with cutting edge prosthetic legs.

Scott Lane’s Endolite Echelon foot with custom cover.

We have two locations. Our main office is a state-of-the-art facility at 11151 Kenwood Road, Cincinnati, Ohio. Our second facility, which is located at 5701 Cheviot Road in Cincinnati, Ohio, was opened by Thomas L. Walsh, CPO, LPO, FAAOP in August of 1995 to serve the greater Cincinnati, southeastern Indiana, and northern Kentucky areas.

We would love to hear from you. Just give us a call at (513) 245-0253.

 Abilities In Motion is an ABC accredited Prosthetic facility.

Abilities In Motion Receives Highest Level of Accreditation in the Profession.

Abilities In Motion proudly announces a Three-Year Accreditation award in orthotics and prosthetics by the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics & Pedorthics, Inc. (ABC).

Abilities In Motion is recognized for achievements in the areas of Organizational Management, Patient Care Standards, Quality Assurance, Supplier Compliance and Facility and Safety Management. This award represents the highest level of accreditation achievable in the profession of orthotics and prosthetics.

“It’s great to be recognized by ABC as they are the standard bearer for our industry,” said Matthew Milthaler, a member of the Abilities In Motion Team. “This accreditation simply acknowledges the commitment our team has to provide outstanding care for our patients.”

“Abilities In Motion has demonstrated its commitment to the provision of quality patient care services by seeking and attaining ABC accreditation,” said Catherine Carter, ABC’s Executive Director. “ABC has developed the highest standards for accreditation in the industry and is proud to include Abilities In Motion among our over 2500 accredited patient care facilities.”

The American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics, Inc. has been credentialing practitioners and organizations since 1948 in accordance with established standards of excellence in the delivery of comprehensive patient care. A not-for-profit organization headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, ABC’s mission is to encourage and promote the highest standards of professionalism in the delivery of orthotic, prosthetic and pedorthic services. ABC advances the competency of practitioners, promotes the quality and effectiveness of orthotic, prosthetic, and pedorthic care, and maintains the integrity of the profession.

 

“It’s great to be recognized by ABC as they are the standard bearer for our industry,” said Matthew Milthaler, a member of the Abilities In Motion Team. “This accreditation simply acknowledges the commitment our team has to provide outstanding care for our patients.”