Limb loss in the Mid-Ohio Valley is more common than you may realize. In fact, according to the National Amputee Coalition’s report, there are over 2.1 million people in the United States living with limb loss and 507 people who lose a limb every day. If you or your friend/relative are living with limb-loss or facing an amputation, know that you are not alone.
Amputees living in the Mid-Ohio Valley and surrounding area get together monthly to share tips & tricks for adapting to life with limb loss. The meetings often start out with a speaker. Recent speakers have included a variety of physical therapists, massage therapist Kenna Lewis from Zenergy, and even member Dr. McCarter, Chiropractor and owner of McCarter Health Center. The group has occasionally met at different locations. The photo was taken with driver rehabilitation specialist Rick Headley, from Memorial Health Systems. In the past, they have also met up with the amputee support group from Columbus, Amps4Ohio, for day trips to Blennerhassett Island and Lake Logan.
The members also set personal goals, and when they are achieved, they are awarded with a gold medal for that month. Goals range from taking a few steps to riding a bike again or returning to work.
This local group is part of the national support group network from the Amputee Coalition. A variety of printed material is available free of charge at the meetings as well as links to online resources. Novels featuring amputees, such as “Living with No Excuses” by Noah Galloway and “On My Own Two Feet: From Losing My Legs to Learning the Dance of Life” by Amy Purdy, are also available for members to “check-out”.
At the meetings, the group is also exposed and encouraged to participate in a variety of activities. For example, adaptive snow and water skiing, kayaking, ballroom dancing, rock climbing, the Annual Amputee Coalition’s National Conference and the Annual Amputee Celebration in Columbus, Ohio. Group leaders Mark and Nancy Miller are always willing to attend the activities and conferences with members to help them knock another goal off their list.
An instructor is lined up to provide an 8-hour training for the National Amputee Coalition’s Peer Visitor Training. This will certify members to visit people who are considering an amputation, or who have recently undergone an amputation. It is important for people to know that there is life after amputation, and it is often possible to return to their previous activity levels. Often, when a new amputee sees how well a peer walks with an artificial limb, their hope and motivation is restored. They can also ask questions to someone who has already experienced the range of emotions and physical issues or challenges that they are currently going through. The training date has not been set yet, but if you are interested, call Nancy Miller at 740-421-4211.
The group is sponsored by Miller Prosthetics & Orthotics and is open to everyone with limb loss and their family and friends. The group usually meets at Miller Prosthetics & Orthotics’ new location in Belpre, Ohio: 2354 Richmiller Lane, Belpre, Ohio 45714. Occasionally the meeting is held offsite so to be sure, please check the website each month for the location www.PUGMOV.com or call Nancy at 740-421-4211. There is usually coffee, water and popcorn and lately members have brought a variety of sweets and snacks to share.
The group meets the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 6:30 pm. Check PUGMOV.com for location.
Whether you are a new amputee or have been living with limb loss for many years, you are encouraged to attend. If you don’t need the support of the group, others may need support from you.
Stories and photos are also shared on the groups’ Facebook page. Just search “Prosthetic Users Group Mid Ohio Valley” in Facebook, or find the link on www.PUGMOV.com
We hope to see you next month! Call Nancy Miller with any questions at 740-421-4211
About Miller Prosthetics & Orthotics:
Miller Prosthetics & Orthotics is a team of highly experienced professionals who provide people with the most comfortable and functional fit for artificial limbs, and orthotic braces, supports and cranial helmets. They see patients in two locations: Belpre, Ohio and Parkersburg, West Virginia. They are a high-tech, organized and efficient organization who provide outstanding patient satisfaction at all levels. They also lead the Prosthetic Users Group of the Mid-Ohio Valley, own a 3-legged certified therapy dog named Keating, and are certified visitors through the Amputee Coalition.