I have been an amputee for a little over 2 years. I lost my leg in a football injury where I severed my popliteal artery and medical complications followed. From day one of my injury, my goal has been to return to the football field and play quarterback, the position that I had grown to love and excel at prior to my injury.
I returned to play the following season after my injury but I was playing on the Moto knee, which was essentially just a huge stable knee that would give me the base I needed to throw. It wasn’t very mobile and made me one-dimensional on the field. Since then I have been training to play with the Genium but it cannot keep up with me since I break it every couple of weeks. My prosthetist, physical therapist, family, friends and I are constantly looking for a set up that could possibly give me the right balance of stability and speed to help me transition from a coach to a player on the University of Virginia’s football team.
Brandon Burke, a member of the ABR team, constantly reached out to me telling me about the foundation and how this new leg could be what I need. To be honest, we all were skeptical at first but Brandon was resilient. He sent us a video demonstrating the movements that I need and from there on we were sold. We went through the paperwork and headed down at the beginning of winter break, which we were very excited for, but not quite sure what we were getting in to.
From the start I felt a sense of family at the ABR clinic. I think what amazed me most was the first day when we were there until about 9 pm and they told us to be back at 7:30 in the morning. But the amazing part is that Aaron stayed up until about midnight working on our check sockets and they told us he was up at 4:30 am to workout Friday morning. That commitment just amazed me from the start and let me know these guys were really dedicated to helping their patients and providing us with a better life. Due to the weakness of my skin, we were not able to physically accomplish much while I was in Nashville. But I was able to make new friends and get a new socket and leg that I will use back home, which I am very thankful for. I was able to run and make movements that I will need to return to the game, which was very beneficial. The condition of my skin just held me back from really accomplishing what I wanted to while in Nashville, but the ABR team is so helpful that we were still able to accomplish some things and make progress.
My goal with my new ABR products is to get my speed back so I can compete at the Division 1 college football level. I think I will start to feel like myself, athletically, again with speed and that will be a huge blessing in my life. My other goal is to spread the word about the ABR foundation so others in need can have an opportunity to get a leg that can change their life and benefit them in anyway.