Jamie had always been a strong person, up for any challenge, and one day almost three years ago she was forced to put that strength to the test. ”On July 30, 2008, I was involved in a motorcycle accident,” recalls Jamie. “After spending 30 days in the hospital and undergoing three surgeries, the doctors were able to save my leg. It had been severely broken though, and was reconstructed using two plates and multiple screws. A year passed and it was still not healing, so that’s when I made the decision to amputate my left leg.”
Jamie’s leg was amputated above the knee on October 14, 2009, but her spirit remained strong, and just two weeks later she was back to working 12-18 hour shifts as a college instructor! Less than two months after that she took her first steps using a prosthetic leg after spending a year and a half on crutches.
But six months later, Jamie was frustrated. “I was still experiencing intense phantom pain and had difficulty working the long shifts my teaching position required.” Not being the sort of person who takes difficult circumstances lying down, Jamie took the bull by the horns and began to search for solutions. In the summer of 2010 a friend she had met in an amputee peer support group referred her to SCP.
Jamie noticed an immediate improvement in her level of comfort after being fit with her first test socket. Fine tuning continued while the volume of her residual limb stabilized. When it was time to choose components for Jamie’s new prosthesis we asked what features/activities were most important to her. She definitely wanted to be able to wear high heeled shoes (she had a wardrobe of them gathering dust in her closet), so we chose an adjustable heel foot for her prosthesis.
In August 2010, although still in a test socket, Jamie felt confident enough to wear her prosthesis all day/night long to the Amputee Coalition of America (ACA) convention in Irvine, CA—and she did it with style! Jamie wore high heels for the first time since her accident!!! A local TV news station even filmed her feet as she walked around the convention center floor and ran the video on their 11pm broadcast. The delight was evident on Jamie’s face when her boyfriend arrived later that evening and saw her rocking those shoes!
Today, Jamie is walking comfortably and confidently. She’s an ACA certified peer visitor and active in the amputee community. She no longer has to limit her activities due to limb and/or socket pain. ”Now I can wear my leg for up to 18 hours a day, and if I’m wearing pants it surprises people (even other amputees) when I tell them that I am an amputee!”
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