Charlie Learns to Walk on Two Prosthetic Legs – with a Little Help from his Friends

Four-year-old Charlie – recently adopted from China and missing both legs above the knee since birth – arrived at POA last month, eager to be fit with his very first set of prosthetic legs. While his check sockets were being fabricated, we introduced him to his new prosthetic “parts.” Charlie was fascinated with the feet and knees, and couldn’t wait to go to the store to pick out some shoes! “Mine,” he declared, as he held a small prosthetic foot to his cheek.

We asked Bella and her family if she could stop by and give Charlie a few pointers. Bella, age 7, was also born in China missing her legs above the knee. Ever since we fit Bella with her first legs when she was 3 years old, she has been unstoppable – running, jumping, playing tag with her siblings – you name it! When she learned that Charlie was also a bilateral congenital amputee, Bella couldn’t wait to meet him! She had never met another child with the same level of amputations before.

As Bella walked into the room, Charlie’s eyes got bigger. He motioned for her to sit down and looked at her legs, her feet, and her “little” hand. “Like me,” he exclaimed, and gave Bella a great big hug. The two quickly formed a close bond. Bella was there for Charlie’s first steps, helped him learn to get up on a chair, and from sitting on the floor to standing. “Bend and lock,” Bella instructed Charlie as he learned to walk in the parallel walks. “Bend Lock,” Charlie repeated.

By the end of the day, Charlie was well on his way to walking independently. That was when he made another connection. Regas Woods, a paralympic athlete who was also born missing both legs above the knee, was across the room discussing some adjustments he wanted to make on his running legs. Regas was wearing long pants so Charlie didn’t know he was an amputee. We invited him over to meet Charlie and said “look, he has two feet and two knees like you!” Charlie excitedly pulled up Regas’ pant legs and hugged him tight. Then he asked if we could take their photo. Charlie was beaming from ear to ear as he posed with his super hero. For the first time in his life he met two people “just like him,” and you could see the incredible instant connection they had. What an amazing day at POA. We are so blessed to have so many wonderful and caring clients who truly make a difference in the lives of others.

Charlie returned home to practice his walking, and his mom reports he is now beginning to walk independently. We have no doubt he’ll be back very soon to be fit with running legs, and Bella promises to be right there to show him how it’s done!
#NoBoundaries #POAkids

Above Knee Amputee Colin Cook Competing in 2016 Stance ISA World Surfing Championship

colinsurfIn  October 2015, POA client Colin Cook lost his leg above the knee to a shark while surfing in Hawaii. All goals have obstacles to overcome. We all have things standing in our way. They can often seem insurmountable, but with enough perseverance we can usually get around them. Over the past year, Colin has put a tremendous amount of effort into his rehab and it has really paid off. This week, strong and confident, he will be competing in the ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship in La Jolla, California! (see following link) 2016 Stance ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship

POA Prosthetic Legs for Play Time… or the Paralympics!

We build customized running legs for the tallest (POA paralympian Regas Woods) and the smallest (future POA paralympian and doctor, Bella). 😊 Whether you run for fun or paralympic medals, Your Success Is Our Passion! ‪#‎Rio2016‬ ‪#‎NoBoundaries‬

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POA client Katie Eddington, AK amputee – Making Great Strides! #CNN #WKYT TV

7-year-old POA Orlando client Katie Eddington made the news twice this week; first in her home state of Kentucky and then on CNN national news! This pint-size dynamo made the decision to amputate her leg last December, and has never looked back! During her most recent visit to POA we fit her with a running prosthesis with a special blade, and now Katie is training to run a 5K. Run like the wind, Katie!   #POAproud #NoBoundaries

CNN article/video: http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/05/health/katie-eddington-amputee-runs-5k-trnd/index.html

WKYT TV video:

Regas Woods, Bilateral Above Knee Amputee: 2016 Paralympian to Watch!

RegasolympicsRegas Woods, brought up in Dunnellon, a small agricultural area in northern Florida, perpetually defied expectations. Born with a congenital anomaly that prevented the proper growth and development of his legs, the little boy who’s mother was told he would never walk is a paralympic champion with the 2016 paralympic games on his agenda.

When Regas was 2 years old, determined to give him the best chance at a normal life with least amount of limitations, his mother, Deborah, made the difficult decision to amputate both his legs above the knee. She always had faith in his abilities, and with her love and encouragement, Regas learned to walk on prosthetic legs. While in elementary school, known as the kid with the cool legs, Regas had many friends. However, the middle school years were rough. “Kids are cruel,” says Regas. “The worst feeling for a child is to not be accepted by their peers. It
regasnsnaffects their test scores. It affects their attitude towards people. You develop this anger, and it’s not a good feeling.” In high school he attempted to join the track team but was told he could not due to safety concerns. Although disappointed, Regas directed his passion to music instead. He went on to play in the concert, jazz and marching bands – learning various instruments, including the drums and French horn – but his dream of being a track athlete persisted. As a young adult, Regas put his all into achieving his dream. His can-do attitude manifested itself into a passion that ultimately resulted in his transformation from a troubled teenager to the paralympic athlete he is today. He co-founded the Never Say Never Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping kids with limb loss live positive and active lives. The kids inspire him to work and train harder. “No matter how rough it gets, no matter how much pressure life brings, I am using my life as a testimony,” Regas explains. “I want to show how adversity can be overcome with a positive attitude and hard work.” He set his sights on competing in the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and has fulfilled that dream!  He will be representing the U.S. in the Paralympics!
RegasCurrently, Regas fits training in-between working a full-time job and caring for his children. In spite of the time limitations, he has become an international record-holding runner, considered to be the fastest bilateral amputee in the world. He has also medaled in the sport of high jump. “Unfortunately, I need to be a full-time athlete in order for me to break the record and win a title,” Regas explains. “The reason I’m so adamant about doing it is because when I first entered the sport they told me I had to race in wheelchairs – that bilateral above knee amputees do not run. That I couldn’t compete. I need to have this opportunity to fulfill my dream and show those who look up to me that it can be done.” In addition to being an elite track athlete, Regas is a professional stunt bike rider – the first bilateral AK in the world to perform such challenging maneuvers. Woods has made appearances on the Speed TV show “SUPER BIKES” and done some acting in Hollywood. He also enjoys singing and making music. With the 2016 Summer Paralympic games drawing nearer, Regas is looking for sponsors to provide him with the support he needs to prepare and compete. He’s fast, he’s talented, he has a huge heart and passion for life. Regas would make a great addition to anyone’s team! #NoBoundaries

Career Highlights

2015 IPC Athletics World Championships, bronze (long jump)

3-time USA National Team Member 2014 U.S. National Championships, gold (100-meter, 200, long jump)

2016 U.S. Paralympic Team Member

POA Client Brian Mast (double AK amputee) is Serving Our Country Once Again 

POA client St.-Sgt. Brian Mast was a member of the US Army’s elite Joint Special Operations Command, serving as an explosive ordnance disposal operator in 2010, when he lost his legs to a bomb blast. Brian is currently in Israel on a mission trip; the following WPTV West Palm Beach News interview was filmed before he left. For this and more articles on Brian, visit the News and Resource section of our website. We are proud of Brian, and thank him for his past and continued service to our country.

Sending a Shout Out to POA Client Dana Pounds!

Sending a shout out to POA’s Dana Pounds! Dana has fought and survived two cancers, and is committed to continuing her journey to complete a marathon! This Friday she will be participating in her first 5K. Go get it, Dana! #NoBoundaries #POAOrlando

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