Support Group Raises Awareness on Limb Loss
More than 2 million people in the United States have suffered from limb loss. A local prosthetist says 60 percent of amputations are preventable and that better education is necessary. A local amputee support group looks to spread awareness and education, while helping each other cope with the loss.
It’s the little things that have become Cathy Grissom’s goals in the 9 months since she lost her legs in an accident.
“I want to be able to roll my trash can out to the curb,” says the Miami resident.
Like walking 1 mile without having to sit in her wheelchair.
“It’s challenging, but I’m up for a challenge,” she says.
She joins several other amputees, friends and family to walk around Mercy hospital’s 1 mile trail, hoping to bring attention to limb loss.
“It is an important thing to let people know that we’re just people and we have goals and dreams and aspirations just like everybody else. You notice people looking, they’re going to look. They’re curious, it’s all good,” says Grissom.
She’s learned a lot about adjusting to life as a bilateral amputee since joining the Four States Amputee Support Group.
“As a support group leader, I have realized that the population who are experiencing amputations do not have the education or the discharge information after having that amputation, they don’t know what to expect in the first year they don’t know that there is life after limb loss,” says Angela Huckaby, group leader and a local prosthetist.
Many amputees will go through a grieving process and the group provides a positive outlet.
“That has been one of the greatest things about the group is for one person to say I’ve been through this I know what you’re going through, I know what you’re feeling,” says Huckaby.
The type of support that can help some turn an obstacle into an opportunity.
“I call it all an adventure, the next step is a new adventure,” says Grissom.
Prosthetics have made a huge difference in the lives of these amputees. The support group meets every month and they talk about subjects like depression and the importance of picking a prosthetist that will help making adjustments over the person’s lifetime.