Featured Patient Stories – James Concannon
Patient: James Concannon
Prosthetic Fitted With: Below Knee Socket, Pylon, and Foot
James was a type 1 diabetic from age 13. Internal damage regarding foot wounds and kidney disease was adding up but was not readily apparent from the outside. When he was around 30, he began suffering foot abrasions which turned into wounds that would not heal. His blood sugar was not well controlled then, and the wounds turned into osteosis which needed to be amputated at the toes. His right foot was considerably worse and eventually the wounds moved from his toes to his heel. This gave the MRSA he developed a straight course to reach his brain. Given these circumstances, he decided to have an amputation to save what was left of his leg. The doctor conducted a below knee amputation about six inches below the knee to make sure he got all the infection. Since then, James has used a prosthetic for his below knee amputation every day.
Q & A
What can you share about your experience with getting fitted with a below knee prosthetic from POSI for your below knee amputation?
Ben Harder, the CPO at Horsham, is a wonderful man who makes the fitting process easy. He takes you in a casting room where all the materials required are gathered, and easily and skillfully applies the material by hand to get the best fit. It is kind of like getting a cast on, but without the pain of a broken bone. It is a pleasant experience because you know you are going to get a new lower limb prosthetic out of it (below knee prosthetic), and there is always a nice feeling of anticipation of getting a new tool that you use every day.
From start to finish, who was your favorite staff member from POSI? Why? What did they do to assist your below knee prosthetic for your below knee amputation?
Ben Harder is my favorite, although Heidi is a close second. Ben has taken below knee prosthetic to a new level be turning it into a new, well-functioning machine. He has done this with a sense of humor, grace, compassion and caring. He is always willing to let me come in at any time for an adjustment, and spends time with me as needed. This make me feel welcome, and more willing to come in and fix things before they become a problem. Heidi has helped me with caring and compassion, too, and that is a great thing for the support staff. All-in-all, everyone I’ve dealt with at POSI has been outstanding.
What is some advice you would give to others looking to get fitted with a prosthetic?
Make sure you get along well with the prosthetist. You are going to be spending a lot of time with them, so a good personal relationship is important. I would interview a few, and lean toward the one who’s closest to your home, you will be going to a lot of appointments, so the closer you can keep all your specialists, the better.
Is there anything else you would like to share about your below knee prosthetic fitting experience with POSI?
POSI has treated me well from the minute I signed on with them. POSI has gone out of their way to make sure I was well cared for and supported. When you have a below knee amputation, usually your life is already very difficult, and you don’t want the end process of that to be worse. POSI made it easier for me to be an amputee, to the point that many people could not tell I was one. I appreciate and value that commitment to me and my health very much.