Announcements: T-shirts are on sale for $12. If you preordered a shirt they should be available by the end of the semester, and the shirts will be available for purchase in the general body meetings next semester Our website is under construction. If anyone is interested in helping with the website or our social media, please let us know! The deadline for therapeutic rec designs is 11/26 This is the final meeting of the semester, but please join us next semester! In the meantime, groups will be meeting. If you would like to join a group (sports, music, or personal care) please contact us and we will get you into one!
Guest Speakers: Katie and JW Moreno, Prosthetics Engineer Jenny
Katie is a below the knee amputee. She was in a major car accident and both of her legs were crushed. Her right leg never fully recovered and after nearly ten years, she decided to have it amputated. It was a very difficult time for her, but she persevered and is now able to do things such as run a 5k once again. She now works for Victory Orthotics and Prosthetics helping people through the same situation.
JW is an above the knee amputee. He was in the military and was an avid fisherman and bull rider. He sustained numerous injuries to his right leg that eventually got to be too painful so he decided to have a knee replacement. But he was too young to usually be considered for a knee replacement. There were complications with the surgery and he eventually decided to have his leg amputated. This is a quote JW shared: “Don’t tell me to reach for the stars when there are footprints on the moon.” He is incredibly competitive and driven, and refuses to back down from a challenge or give up on any of his ambitions. He is a runner and a cyclist now, and his race times are almost at Olympic athlete levels.
The couple volunteers at a camp for amputees and shared a few of their experiences. They were prepared to teach their campers, but ended up learning a lot from their strength.
Jenny is a mechanical engineer with biomedical concentration and she works with prosthetics at Victory Orthotics and Prosthetics. She described the process of making a prosthetic limb. The process varies if the device is for day to day use or if it is activity specific. First, they make a cast impression of the limb with plaster or fiberglass. Sometimes 3D scanning is used, but the residual limb changes shape easily with movement and 3D scanning cannot always account for pressure points or counter pressures. They then scan the cast and send it to another facility to 3D part the model. High tech options aren’t always reliable since the field is so small.
In prosthetic feet, there is always a C shape like the shape of running prostietics, just small enough to fit inside a foot. It helps to retain energy to make walking feel easier and more natural.
It can sometimes be very difficult to get insurance coverage for prosthetics. Insurance will often cover only what the amputee needs, and anything additional would have to be paid for themselves. Prosthetics are in the tens of thousands of dollars, so charity foundations that help amputees get prosthetics for specific functions are a very worthy cause.
We loved having these guests at our meeting and hope to hear from them again.