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David C.

APOP David ConnerIt started as a normal day for David C. First work, then surf. But his life was suddenly turned upside down when he was run over by a forklift truck at his jobsite. “When that happened, everything changed. My injury was a degloving injury; all the tissue and skin on my foot was ripped off,” he said.

Doctors tried to salvage the foot through multiple surgeries and skin grafts. None were successful and David was in excruciating pain. After discussing options with his doctor, which included more surgeries without a guaranteed successful outcome, David opted for a below knee amputation.

“It was the best decision I made,” he said. “My main concern was getting to where I was before the injury, including surfing. I surfed my whole life and I wondered if I was going to be able to surf again. They said if I wouldn’t have had the amputation, I probably wouldn’t have been able to do anything anymore.”

Prior to his amputation, David had been seeing George Newton, CPO, for help with his foot drop, so he turned to George again to fit him with a prosthesis.

“I talked to my case manager and adjustor and said I wanted to go to the best in the island and they said, you are already seeing him.”

David was anxious to return to his job, but eventually had to leave it. “In my job, I had to be on my feet all the time and it turned out to be too difficult, mentally and physically. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to work. I was laid up for a long time and I wanted to get back, plus everyone was telling me that is the thing to do,” he said. “George disagreed and told me that I needed to be patient. I wasn’t. I was one of those guys waiting for my leg to be saved. I was on the internet looking at options and when I got amputated, I was on the internet again seeing other amputees running and being very active. So, I figure I’m going to get a leg, put it on and get going. Well that was humbling. It doesn’t work that way. You’ve got to be patient like George said and learn to adjust and adapt to it.

“Even though I’m 59 I’m still pretty active, but I can’t go that long length I used to – I can’t be on my feet 10 hours a day. Right now, I try to walk a few miles a day on the treadmill and I am surfing again. Being in the water is the only place I feel normal, because I’ve done it my whole life and it’s a nice relaxing thing for me to do. George understands the whole thing about the water because he is a surfer too.”

For surfing, George fit David with a TruStep waterproof foot from College Park. For everyday wear, he is in an Össur Pro-Flex.

APOP David ConnerDavid admits he is hard on his legs and like other amputees, has to deal with residual limb changes and volume fluctuation. “Every time I have a bit of an issue, George, and Kai Newton, CPO, are always there to refit me and get me back out there.

“George and Kai are compassionate about what they do and how you feel. They are focused on you as a patient and getting you the best equipment for you to get back to your life that you once knew and that is why I like them. They go above and beyond in getting me back to where I am.

“I’m thoroughly pleased with Advanced P&O,” David said. “Summer Contreras is wonderful, too. She is great at getting authorization and working with insurance. George, Kai and Summer take out a lot of stress and headache of being an amputee.”