On October 12th, 2008, Maria Benham was enjoying a beautiful day riding her motorcycle, when she was involved in a hit and run accident. A truck pulling a full size trailer coming around a corner crossed over the yellow line, hitting her head on. The impact caused extreme damage including severing her femoral artery, which resulted in an above knee amputation.
Maria is an extremely active person. Prior to her accident she was the Director of Corporate Services for a technology company, where she traveled all around the world. She’s an active participant in Judo, motorcycle riding, snow mobiling, biking, swimming, jet skiing, zip lining, and volunteers for various charities. You can find her on many Saturday mornings at yard sales around town. She has continued her activities, despite her amputation.
Maria chooses Kentucky Prosthetics & Orthotics, because she says the strong professional service with a strong focus on a personal family like atmosphere cannot be surpassed. In her own words: “The staff at Kentucky Prosthetics has been my mentors, psychologist, advisors, and friends during the various stages of my traumatic amputation. It is almost impossible to find a “gatekeeper” (someone who can help handle a variety of issues) when a tragedy like this hits a family and on several occasions they have been there to help direct my family when we so desperately needed it. They are also extremely innovative, up on all the latest techniques and equipment and are always striving for the best outcome.”
Kadison Warren, a beautiful young athlete, was given an altering change of life on October 5th. She was involved in a four wheeler accident that resulted in a below knee amputation. Kadison decided that even with the challenges she knew would be ahead of her, she was not going to give up on her dreams.
Kadison is an inspirational young lady who returned to school full time within weeks of her amputation and even managed to maintain her honor roll status. Kadison was named the “Home Town Hero” for her bravery and determination. She has not let her amputation get in her way. Already Kadison is up and running on her new prosthetics and is planning an early return to the soccer field in the spring season.
Kadison and her mom choose Kentucky Prosthetics and Orthotics because they felt the energy and determination Kadison showed was matched by KY Prosthetics staff! Together the goal of getting Kadison back on the soccer field was shared by all. In the end, Kadison and her mother wanted a company that saw no limitations for Kadison’s future!
Neil Brown is a fairly recent amputee. In November 2010 he became a bilateral below knee amputee as well as partial hand (parts of all fingers) on his dominate hand. The cause of his amputation was a result of the medication that was used to save his life. The medicine was designed to keep his vital organs working, but the medications caused the circulation to be cut off from his extremities which eventually caused the amputations.
Prior to amputation Neil was an active young man: he worked as a manager for Terminx; he was a Firefighter/EMT; he worked with local rescue squads as a state certified high angle rope rescue operator; he was also the trainer for the KY Corrections Department team in high angle rappelling; and he was an avid motorcycle rider. Neil is currently in extensive rehabilitation to regain function and achieve his goals of returning to his beloved hobbies. He currently wears the bilateral Harmony suction system below knee prosthetics and the new X-fingers. The x-fingers are the first in the regional area. Check out his videos/blogs to see how he works them. www.twofeetshorter.com. Neil continues to strive for new adventures in life; he has gone back to part time work at the Fire Station in dispatch and has enrolled in college to get his degree as a Physical Therapy Assistant.
Although Neil is a new amputee, he has already helped many others with his blog Two Feet Shorter. The blog follows his medical treatment from the hospital all the way through rehabilitation. Neil has a very positive spin on life; he lives by the motto: “No matter what else, believe in yourself! When you are told you can’t do something because you have an amputation, prove your nay-sayer wrong. The only limitations you have are the ones YOU put on yourself. Never let anyone else put limitations on your goals or dreams!”
Oksana Masters was born in Khmelnitskyy, Ukraine and adopted at the age of seven by a single mother who brought her to the United States in February of 1997. She was born with multiple birth defects including: leg malformations that resulted in bilateral above knee amputations, hands without thumbs, and her fingers were webbed. Throughout her 22 years, she has already endured many surgeries due to these birth defects as well as from complications of radiation poisoning. She currently wears bilateral microprocessor leg prostheses (Genium Bionic : Legs) and is able to walk freely without any assistive devices.
Oksana was recruited to “try” rowing in 2002, which was the perfect fit for her abilities, and where she has continued to excel. She currently trains with the adaptive rowing program through the Louisville Rowing Center under coaches Randy Mills and Bobby Hurley. While she has competed and placed in many rowing competitions, her most recent gold medal finish was the Trunk and Arm’s Women’s World Indoor rowing Championship, where she also set the US record for an individual women. Her time: 1,000meters in 4 minutes, 34 seconds. She and her rowing partner are training to compete in the United States in the 2012 Paralympics Team Trials in the mixed doubles sculling competition.
Oksana Masters chooses Kentucky Prosthetics, because it is the “first place she was treated like she was able to do anything she ever wanted.” Matt Hayden, CP, told her she would be able to accomplish anything she put her mind to and there was no reason she needed to spend her days in a wheelchair. After working with Oksana over the past seven years, she has been able to attend college; work at local coffee shops; and pursue her rowing goals all without walking limitations.
Debbie Lewis was diagnosed with cancer in the spring of 2010. After medical complications, she suffered bilateral below elbow amputations.
Debbie is a young mother of three. Prior to her bout with cancer, she was a completely independent women who worked outside of the home as well as taking care of extensive family responsibilities. She is now in the process of rehabilitation to learn how to function with her two myoelectric, iLimb hands.
However, this process did not come easily. She has had the fight of her life this past year. Not only is she in complete remission, she has had to fight for the proper prosthetic coverage from her insurance company. Debbie had to fight long and hard with her insurance company to get them to pay for myoelectric prostheses. Her insurance policy had a limitation on the technology, as above and beyond basic need. With Kentucky Prosthetics, the help of many others, and after a six month fight with her insurance….Debbie was approved for the computerized iLimb hands.
On April 4, 2003, Kevin Trees of Louisville, KY decided to take a ride on his motorcycle before heading out to pick up his kids from school in the afternoon. But 30 minutes into the ride and as Kevin was returning home, his entire life changed in an instant when, without warning, his motorcycle hit a bad patch of road which caused him to lose control and slam into a tree with the right side of his body. Laying in a pool of blood and fighting for his life, the accident left him with a broken left tibia, a broken right forearm, a shattered right hand and a destroyed right hip. The most critical injury was his right knee which exploded into 30 pieces when it slammed into the base of the tree. After arriving at the hospital, Kevin stayed in the Intensive Care Unit for two months. For the next two years, Kevin fought through 33 surgeries as doctors unsuccessfully tried to repair broken bones and torn muscles and save his right knee. Most doctors told Kevin he’d never walk again and told him his career as a police officer was finished.
Finally in October of 2005, two and a half years after Kevin’s accident, doctors determined there was nothing more that could be done to save his right leg. Kevin was faced with two options, live in a wheelchair the rest of his days or move on with his life pain free but as an amputee; Kevin hesitantly elected to have his leg amputated above the knee. A week after the surgery, Kevin met with Matthew Hayden of Kentucky Prosthetics and began working on moving forward with life. Encouragingly, Matt told Kevin that with Otto Bock’s C-Leg, he would have the ability to do 96% of the activities he did before the accident.