My name is Ian, I am 25 years old and because of the American Blade Runners I got my life back.
Being born a conjoined twin and thereafter separated from my brother, I still had multiple anatomical abnormalities in my lower body because of a foot malformation I had when I was three years old my parents were told that my best chance of walking normal would be if my foot was amputated, so it was.
From the age of 13-20 I was a successful prosthetic user and a community ambulatory, participating in activities such as my high school and college football teams, and Community Theater. However due to the wear and tear on my contralateral side, paired with a surgery which took me off my legs for 10 weeks, and a less than stellar prosthetic provided afterwards, I was knocked back to a household ambulatory until I was fortunate enough to have a prosthetic leg provided too me by ABR.
During this time which lasted well over a year it killed me to not be able to do the things I used to, I learned very quickly that when every step you take any distance over 30 feet causes you pain, you tend to stop taking steps. The Standard prosthetic I was in at the time caused sores on my residual limb constantly, the liner absorbed my sweat and every time I took it off it would stink to the point where I was embarrassed to take my leg off with anyone around. The alignment it had paired with the foot caused my back to constantly be sore, and I would constantly get a sore neck and would have a terrible time trying to get any sleep at night because of the pain.
I learned of ABR through a previous classmate of mine (Justin) who was completing his prosthetic residency at the time, he knew of my troubles and urged me to apply for a sports prosthetic with the hopes that it would help me. When he told me about the Group and what they accomplished I applied looking for any solution that would help me get out of the prosthetic I was stuck in due to an inability to get a new prosthetic paid for by my Health Insurance.
Compared to my previous experiences when getting a new prosthetic meant many visits to the O&P office and at least a month of waiting, within a few appointments during just a week in Nashville, I had received a new prosthetic leg.
For the first time in 22 years, the leg I received from ABR felt like I had gotten my real leg back. With the first step I took, I could hardly tell that I was wearing a prosthetic because of the lightweight materials used in my socket which weighed a third of the one I had previous, because skin fit my leg stopped sweating as much, and the suspension was perfect so I had no question about where the leg would end up when I landed on it. I felt no pinching when I put my full weight down and when I landed on my new All-Pro foot I could feel a simulated ankle returning the energy I put into it rather than what I now would describe a 2×4 board that I had before.
Compared to the good enough attitude I had seen in my past experiences getting a new leg ABR’s goal was not to get me walking like a good prosthetic user, there goal was to get me walking as good as if I didn’t have a prosthetic. My ABR leg did not only allow me to run for the first time, but let me do so with ease.
Since receiving my ABR leg almost a year ago, my life circumstances have been drastically improved, I have been able to return to my hobbies which had previously seemed unattainable. With my leg I am no longer in pain and can walk further than I would have ever thought possible with ease I have never experienced before. Now simple things such as carrying an open container of liquid don’t cause me to slow down, because I don’t limp like I used to. And without the back pain I used to have I now have no problems going to sleep.
The leg that ABR provided me has allowed me continue my dream of becoming a Certified Prosthetist Orthotist and since receiving my leg I have started my P&O residency so I can improve the life circumstances of others the same way that ABR has for me.
Without ABR I wouldn’t be where I am today.