POA Patient Spotlight – Hanna O’Brien

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16-year-old Hanna O’Brien is a confident, caring and intensely spiritual young lady. People of all ages and backgrounds are drawn to her sweet nature and nurturing personality.

Born with congenital limb difference, Hanna’s left leg extends just 3 inches below the knee-cap. Her right hand has only a thumb and her left hand has nubs where her index and middle fingers would be. Her parents believed from the beginning that Hanna was perfect just the way she was born, and destined to do great things.

As she grew a little older, Hanna began to notice that her leg was different than other kids’. One day, at a skating party, Hanna’s prosthetic leg fell off and she put it back on. On the way home from the party she asked her parents, “Are there other kids like me doing that, or am I the only one?” That’s when her family decided to seek out other amputees for Hanna to meet. When she was 10 years old they enrolled her in the Amputee Coalition of America’s (ACA) Children’s Camp and attended the ACA annual conference in Atlanta, Georgia. It was at the ACA convention that we met Hanna and her family.

Hanna’s mother, Dee, shared that Hanna’s prosthetic limb was not comfortable, and it was preventing her from enjoying many of the sports she loved. Stan promised that if they would make the trip to Orlando (from their home in North Carolina) he would fit Hanna with a new prosthesis that would allow her to do all the things she enjoyed in comfort.

Since then, Hanna has not stopped moving! At home in North Carolina she plays on her high school soccer team, golfs, rides four-wheelers and a motocross cycle. She also enjoys fishing. When Hanna is in Orlando having her prosthesis adjusted or replaced, she and her family spend a lot of time at the beach and enjoying the nearby theme parks. Hanna does anything and everything she wants, and enjoys sharing her story and explaining how her prosthesis works to new amputees.

Not only does Hanna now know that she’s “not the only one with a prosthesis,” she has made many new friends and has helped countless others.  During the 2013 ACA conference in Orlando, Hanna encouraged a new amputee who was terrified of swimming to give it a try, and stayed by her side until she became comfortable in the water.

Hanna has blossomed into a very compassionate and confident young lady, and we are blessed to have her and all the O’Brien’s in our POA family.  One day Hanna plans to become a prosthetist and work with and inspire other amputees to achieve their goals.  We are #POAProud of you, Hanna O’Brien!

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POA Patient Update: Little Luna of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, 11/26/2012

We have an update on little Luna of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico! ♥ Five months ago she learned to walk on her prosthetic leg, and since then this spunky 2-year-old has been unstoppable! Her father sent us the following video to update us on her progress. Bravo, Luna!!! 🙂    Click Here to view video

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Zoe Gibbs – Proving herself wrong!, Journalnews.net article, 10/15/2012

Another article about our favorite volleyball superstar, Ms. Zoe Gibbs!       Journal News article dated 10-15-12

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Celebrity Visitors at POA!, 10/17/2012

A couple of celebrities stopped by our facility yesterday—POA patient and former Professional Wrestler Steve “the freak” Chamberland and WWE Hall of Famer Jimmy Hart, who managed over 75 wrestling superstars in his career! Steve is the founder of “50 Legs,” a non-profit foundation which provides assistance to amputee children. We are fitting the foundation’s newest recipient with a running leg next week. www.50legs.org

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POA’s Zoe Gibbs in the News!, “Teenager Returns to Volleyball Court with Prosthetic Leg,” 10/8/2012

Zoe was in the news again!  This time, “The Ledger,” a Polk County Florida newspaper, featured her in an article about her return to Volleyball.  Zoe lost her leg in 2011 after a jet-ski accident.  Since then she has overcome many obstacles, including several surgeries and infections.  Now Zoe is focusing on the future, and doing all the things a normal 16-year-old girl does – like driving on car!   🙂   click here to view “The Ledger,” article dated 10/8/2012 —>Zoe Gibbs return to Volleyball

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POA video Patient Profile on Laura Ortiz, BK Amputee, 6/28/2012

Amputee * Triathlete * Warrior — Laura Ortiz of Miami, Florida is all these things and more. She is an example of how the power of determination and persistence can help you triumph over the difficulties life can throw at you. Whether you are a new amputee learning to walk with your prosthesis, or setting your sights on running or participating in the sport of triathlon, Laura’s spirit and personal commitment to succeed is sure to inspire you! POA Patient Profile: Laura Ortiz

Mabio tries out an anti-gravity treadmill, 6/21/12

During a visit to a re-hab facility yesterday, Mabio, a POA employee and below knee amputee, was given an opportunity to try running on a Zero Gravity treadmill which had just been delivered to the facility. It was originally designed by NASA to help astronauts train for zero gravity conditions. Mabio said it felt like he was “running in water or air” -it was effortless. This technology is now being used to train athletes and in rehabilitation facilities.
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POA’s Ronnie Dickson (AK) & Drew Johnson (BK) Rock Climbing video, 3/2011

Here is some video footage of Ronnie Dickson (AK) and Drew Johnson (BK) on a recent rock climbing expedition – Drew’s first as an amputee. What CAN’T these guys do?! Awesome. Click here to viewvideo