Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
• Very good. Very comfortable with his patients. He doesn’t get impatient with concerns. (12/11/09)
• Daniel was very helpful and understanding. (2/10/2010)
• I feel very confident that my prosthesis will work well. (2/17/10)
• Very pleasant and easy to work with. (2/18/10)
• Dan, thank you for the consultation on my dad. You are the first person in a while to offer solutions. Maybe we’ll be working with you more soon. (2/25/10)
• Excellent service and correction of prosthesis—perfect workmanship. (3/10/10)
• Dan was courteous and helped me so much. He came to my house to check on me every week. (3/18/10)
• Like being able to have someone to make adjustments if necessary and not know who I will be seeing for this shoe. (4/01/10)
• I thought this service was very good. [Emery] was very very good. (4/13/2010)
Thursday, April 8, 2010
The year was 1964, and Nettie Ward was working as a nurse at Homer G. Phillips Hospital in North St. Louis City when a patient suddenly grabbed her and practically ripped her arm off. Pulled badly out of the socket at the shoulder, Nettie’s right arm barely hung on, but the doctor who first treated her did nothing but pop it back in and ace wrap it. Over the next few painful days, Nettie lost sensation in her arm. An X-Ray revealed terrible damage, so doctors decided to put her arm and shoulder in a large, cumbersome cast. As things turned out, Nettie was in and out of casts for 18 months before she finally asked doctors at Barnes Hospital just to take the arm off. By that time, she was right; it was the only thing they could do. So, Nettie underwent shoulder disarticulation surgery and began her new life as an amputee.
Fast forward about forty-five years. Nettie is 77 years old and just as strong and vibrant as she ever was. Her four children have given her 12 grandchildren, whom she loves to talk about. Though right-handed, Nettie has surprised even herself by learning to use her left hand for just about everything. She still works at the Scottrade Center and the America Center in downtown St. Louis. Now, things have come to the point where she needs a new prosthesis on the right side, and so she is checking out a new group of prosthetists—new for her—at P&O Care in Fairview Heights, IL.
Nettie likes working with Jon Wilson, Dan Luitjohan, and Luke Brewer because “They told me things I never knew.” Simply by taking the time to explain everything to her, they have won Nettie’s respect. This is also the first time Nettie has been tested for her ability to use myoelectric sensors so her muscles can operate her prosthetic hand. It takes a few patient hours of testing, but her prosthetists identify several sites she can use. After taking a full-body cast, Jon and Dan and Luke fashion a prosthetic arm for Nettie that fits over her shoulder, comes down her right side, and straps around her body. The myoelectric sensors control the hand opening and closing, and a small cable between her shoulder blades called a “linear transducer” makes the elbow come up and down.
All through the casting, the testing, and then the final fitting, Nettie is a champ. She’s quick to learn how to operate her arm and hand, while her positive attitude radiates around the room. Her next steps take her through the process of practicing everyday tasks; Nettie is excited she’ll now be able to hold a gallon of milk in her new right hand.