I am an amputee, a diabetic and a cancer survivor. These challenges have changed how I live my life, but they do not define my life. They are merely obstacles that every day I must overcome so I can concentrate on what does define me and what really matters; my roles as a father, a husband and a prosthetist in my own company, Bulow Orthotic & Prosthetic Solutions.
Daniel Luckett lost his leg and part of his foot on Mother’s Day, May 11, 2008, in northwest Baghdad. After ten months of recovery at Walter Reed Army Hospital, he returned to his unit in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He found Matt Bulow through the Wounded Warrior Project and fellow soldier and amputee, Staff Sgt. Alexander Shaw. Luckett knew he needed new prostheses for the next deployment, and he knew he needed them quickly.
In January of 2016, life as Katherine Morgan knew it changed dramatically. Due to complications of Peripheral Vascular Disease, she had to have a lower extremity amputation, but because of her fighting spirit and unwavering determination, Katherine is on the mend and getting back to the activities she enjoys most.
Zion receives i-digits
Zion is a Nashville patient that we have been seeing for over two years. His unique residuum made it a challenge to come up with a plan for prosthetic components that would benefit him, as he’s missing bilateral digits 1-4. Up until recently, he’d been wearing a symes prosthesis, which he adapted to very well. As got older, however, we wanted to move forward with upper extremity prosthesis.
Mabry: Finding Fulfillment through Family
For John Mabry, the hardest part of being an amputee was overcoming the mental and emotional effects—the physical part was the easy part.
He became a below-the-knee amputee while still in college. During a ride in a friend’s SUV, a right rear tire blew out, causing the vehicle to roll twelve times.
Jake Ousley: Getting Back to the Great Outdoors
Within 2 months after being fitted, Jake ran two 5K races.
“I think I came in a little hot, but Matt [Bulow] was encouraging to say ‘if you feel like you can do it, do it. Just don’t hurt yourself.’ I liked that and took that to heart,” he said.
Bridget Johnson is an avid equestrian. So, it’s no surprise that one day, she and her sister decided to ride horseback to a friend’s house. But on the way there, tragedy struck. As Bridget was crossing the street, a car came down the hill and struck her and her horse. Her left leg was severed at the scene.
If anyone has made the most of the cards life dealt them, it’s Sarah Sternlieb.
Sarah was born with an unknown physical disability that manifested as skeletal muscle weakness. It predominately affected her lower extremities, with the right leg being weaker than the left, as well as some weakness in her hand.
In the 1950s, a new wonder drug hit the markets: Thalidomide. It was promised to treat a wide range of ills, including morning sickness. Debbie Miller’s mother hoped she would benefit from it. After all, she’d had several miscarriages before becoming pregnant with Debbie, and lived with diabetes.
Unfortunately, the drug turned out to be very harmful to fetuses, and caused an epidemic of birth defects. For Debbie, this meant being born with proximal femoral focal deficiency.
George Wood lost his left leg just below the knee due to poor blood circulation after smoking for 35 years. For the last 10 years he was up to two packs a day.
“I destroyed my blood vessels in my lower left leg,” he said. “Smoking not only gives you cancer but it also constricts blood flow and takes away your quality of life!”
Patient Story: Tracy Medler
Tracy Medler is no stranger to surgery.
23 years ago, she had to turn her infant daughter over to the hospital for open-heart surgery.
“I remember feeling, ‘If I can go through this I can get through anything,’” she said.
Little did she know, her faith would be tested again.
Maria Gonzalez found out that her son Jesús was going to need an amputation before he was even born. He had gastroschisis and other birth defects that necessitated he have a lower-limb amputation immediately after birth. By the time he was two and a half years old, he was already wearing a prosthesis.
Ashley Martin first knew something was wrong in September 2017. Some of her toes would turn blue but after a while they would return to a normal color. She went to the doctor and they sent her for an ultrasound of my right leg and foot. It showed some blockages, so from there she visited a vascular surgeon.
Susan Schmidt has the distinction of being the youngest amputee ever fitted with a prosthesis in Alabama.
She was born with a black spot on the bottom of her foot, which was later diagnosed as ongenital osteogenic sarcoma. When she was just 4 days old, her leg was amputated above the knee and she received her first leg six months later.
Last December, Joseph Hatfield was loading his Harley Davidson into storage when both he and the motorcycle fell off the ramp. The bike landed on his leg, crushing his ankle and foot.
The doctor gave him two options—fuse the bones with a 50 percent chance of success or amputation. Joseph made the decision to amputate.
Long before she was a patient here, Zoe Redington was familiar with Bulow Orthotic and Prosthetic Solutions. Her younger brother, Zion, is a double lower-extremity amputee, and receives his treatment here. This means they have Bulow stickers and tee shirts all over the house.
Jacob Pagel is 14 years old and loves video games, Star Wars and LEGOs. But this typical teen was struck by an atypical malady in May of 2016.
“I started feeling tired and a little weird,” he said. “Mom and dad took me to see my doctor. He thought I might have an infection, and gave me medicine. It didn’t help. I just got more tired, and started talking funny.”