Forging New Beginnings with Bobbie’s Prosthetic Foot
Before April 2015, you would probably find Bobbie DeHaven toiling away in her garden, maybe as her seven grandkids ran around her yard in the country.
Things changed when she suffered from an infection that required a below-the-knee amputation of her right leg. Everyday activities like going to the grocery store were suddenly a struggle; and gardening, Bobbie’s life passion, became impossible.
But when she met Ability’s Taffy Bowman, American Board Certified Prosthetist Orthotist (CPO), her optimism returned.
“I never thought I’d get a prosthesis because of my age and weight,” Bobbie says. “But Taffy suggested it. I had lots of questions, but Taffy never made me feel foolish.”
Planting a Seed of Change
The process of fitting a foot prosthetic begins with gaining an understanding. Starting with the initial consultation, Taffy focuses on her patients’ lives: their world prior to amputation, how they live now, and where they want to be with their new limb.
“It’s a very intimate process, working with someone and fitting the person,” Taffy says. “We get to know them very well. The patient is a patient for life.”
And as Taffy serves as prosthetist, she also serves as engineer, architect, friend, and advisor. Taffy and our team know the emotional stress, physical challenges, and questions associated with limb loss well.
“You can’t sweep it under the rug,” Taffy says. “[Emotional stress] is a normal part of the healing process. There is a bit of a mourning process and understanding it is difficult. But it’s okay what they’re feeling. We are there to make them as comfortable as possible.”
Bobbie was no different. She wanted to get back to her normal life.
“Flowers, vegetable gardening — things like that I’ve really missed,” she says. “I haven’t been over to my daughter’s house because of steps. I couldn’t see my grandchildren as often as I wanted to. And when I did, it was especially hard to keep up with the younger ones.”
Fortunately, her new prosthetic foot fitted by Ability would help her achieve these things again.
Bobbie’s Possibilities in Full Bloom
Bobbie’s new K3 prosthetic foot uses technology to simulate how the human body moves, which includes a cutting-edge hydraulic system. It drastically improved her balance, which is especially important for her living in the country where “no ground is level.”
Bobbie has returned to doing many of the things she enjoyed prior to the amputation. Like her passion for gardening, Bobbie’s process of getting back on two feet took time, patience, and hard work.
“You never know what you’re capable of. I was unsure I could do it — the fittings, the therapy — but then I was surprised what I could accomplish.”