Monday, February 25, 2013
GWINNETT COUNTY, GA-- As the wheelchairs move toward one another you see instant smiles and flashes of recognition on the faces of Aimee Copeland and Kyle Maynard. The two have a lot in common and have heard stories of one another, but this is their first time meeting. The smiles are followed by a hug. Two amputees with very different stories of how they arrived to this day. Last year, Aimee Copeland contracted a rare flesh eating bacteria while zip-lining with friends. To save her life, doctors had to amputate both feet, a leg and her hands. Kyle Maynard is a congenital amputee who was born with only portions of his arms and legs. A former wrestler and mixed martial artist, he's also a motivational speaker who just finished climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. He spent ten days bear crawling to the summit. Copeland has long wanted to meet Maynard, so when he was invited to be the keynote speaker at the Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation's Gala organizers invited Copeland to the event. Before the gala began, Copeland and Maynard met in a side room for an interview with 11 Alive News. Reporter Duffie Dixon said her job was easy--with one question the two began an instant conversation about what they most admire about each other and what they'd like to see for others like them in the future. "I see us working together to come up with ways to make things more accessible, Its just a matter of figuring out things no one has thought of before," said Maynard. Copeland said seeing what Maynard has accomplished by hiking Kilimanjaro, she hopes to someday return to the hiking and kayaking she loved before she lost her limbs. "I think nature has a lot to offer in healing people. I want everyone to be able to get out on trails and rivers and experience what I have," said Copeland. Maynard said he was inspired by Copeland's positive outlook saying she has not let her accident define her. She was quick to say the same about him.
Monday, February 18, 2013
PARK CITY — Park City Mountain Resort joined Shriners Hospital for Children to give young amputees a chance to ski Utah's famous slopes. The Un-Limb-ited Ski and Snowboard Camp is an annual event that allows dozens of teens from around the world to work on and showcase their skiing abilities. "I love to ski," said Kristine Littlefield, a 13-year-old participant from Centerville. "It's one of my favorite things to do in the winter. I do diamond runs all the time." Like Littlefield, participants receive professional instruction to learn adapted skiing and snowboarding, and it's at no cost. Those who want to attend simply submit an essay to be considered for a spot at the camp, according to their website. The camp accommodates skiers of all levels of expertise. While Littlefield is a veteran for her age, Roy resident Todd Michaels skied for the first time at the camp. It's a pretty awesome opportunity for me and them to be up there on the mountain, having a good time and not having to think about being an amputee. There are some things we can do and some things we can't do, and this is something we can all do pretty well. –Kevin Clark, Shriners Hospital for Children "I started two days ago, so I'm still on the first time, but it's really fun," he said. "I played soccer for about seven years, played football for two years, and snowboarding is much better than both those combined. It's just awesome, the thrill of the mountain and everything." The camp is a place where teens like Michaels and Littlefield can break barriers and not have to think about being an amputee, said Kevin Clark, who works for Shriners and is helping with the camp. "The first day they're usually pretty timid, kind of shy and don't want to get out there and explore too much," he said. "But by day two or three, they're blending in with the group, going down the mountain as fast as they can and they're having a great time." However, it's not just a life changing opportunity for the kids, but for the adults working with them to teach them how to ski as well. "It's a pretty awesome opportunity for me and them to be up there on the mountain, having a good time and not having to think about being an amputee," he said. "There are some things we can do and some things we can't do, and this is something we can all do pretty well."
Monday, January 21, 2013
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
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Friday, November 2, 2012
October 30 - Britain's double leg-amputee athlete Richard Whitehead, who took gold in the 200 metre T42 final at the London 2012 Paralympics, plans to run from John O'Groats to Land's End to raise money for cancer charities. The 36-year-old from Nottingham shot to prominence when he claimed a memorable victory in the 200m in the Olympic Stadium in a world record of 24.38sec, adding the Paralympic title to the world title he won last year. But despite his stellar late career as a sprinter, Whitehead is actually predominantly a marathon runner with a best time of 2 hours 42min 52sec over 26.2 miles. He is now aiming to become the first double leg amputee to run from John O'Groats to Land's End not only raise thousands of pounds for cancer charities in memory of his friend, Simon Mellows, who died in 2005 after contracting a secondary cancer, but also to inspire people to take up sport. "I'm a marathon runner by trade and the marathon, as an event, is accessible for anybody to watch," Whitehead told BBC Sport. "It's on an open road and you can just come down and be part of it, so I felt a challenge like John O'Groats to Land's End would engage people up and down the country about what sport's all about, and maybe be an opportunity for them to run a little bit with me. "It's great being on television and in the media but meeting people is something you can't put a value on and that's when you can have that inspiration and positive impact on people's lives."
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
"We remind one another that life isn't over; life is just a little different now and nothing's impossible. You can still do it. You just have to find a new way." By Stephanie Gross Email the author October 15, 2012
Monday, February 13, 2012
The Tube accident victim who GREW leg bone two inches so doctors can finally fit bionic limb after 15 years in world-first op
By Richard Shears and Julian Gavaghan
Last updated at 1:24 PM on 13th February 2012
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Marny Cringle couldn't have leg fitted before because stump was too short
Left leg amputated above the knee after falling under an Underground train
A woman who lost a leg when she fell under a London underground train is to receive a bionic limb in a remarkable world-first operation after successfully growing bone.
Marny Cringle 42, of New South Wales, Australia, lost her left leg in the accident in 1996 but because the remaining stump was too short she could not be fitted with a prosthetic one.
She faced the rest of her life on crutches or in a wheelchair -
Help: Marny Cringle, 42, poses on crutches - but in a few months time she will have a bionic limb after doctors were able to grow as before the stump had been too short
The painful procedure works by attaching tiny screws and periodically adjusting them to encourage the bone to stretch and grow by just a fraction of an inch at a time.
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Now surgeons want to fit a bionic limb to her femur, allowing muscle and bone to grow around it.
The artificial limb will become an extension of her body - the first time someone will have had a bone stump lengthened and a bionic limb fitted to it.
BRIGHTER FUTURE FOR THOUSANDS
Until now, many of those who had their legs amputated above the knee could not be fitted with a prosthetic limb because the remaining bone stump was too short.
But thanks to Marny Cringle - who grew her femur two inches through a painful process of having screws fitted and then gradually adjusting them to lengthen the bone - thousands more amputees could now one day walk again.
When she undergoes an operation in April at Macquarie University Hospital (pictured above) in Sydney, Australia, the 42-year-old will be the first person in the world to have a bionic limb fitted after growing bone.
Recent advancements in bionic limbs mean Miss Cringle - and many others like her - could live a relatively normal life with almost complete mobility.
Bone and muscle will grow around the artificial leg, which is powered by batteries and can detect small changes in movement and direction using motion and speed sensors.
Also, Using hydraulics, valves close and lock the knee in place when standing upright.
And, despite being fitted with hi-tech gadgets and lithium batteries, bionic legs, which cost around £50,000, can weigh as little as 2.9lb.
Orthopaedic surgeon Dr Munjed Al Muderis, who will head the operation to fit the artificial limb, told Sydney's Daily Telegraph that the procedure was 'the future for amputee patients worldwide.'
Thanks to modern surgery and her agreement to put up with painful procedure, Miss Cringle hopes to have the bionic leg attached to her leg stump as soon as April - and then surgeons and scientists will monitor it as tissue grows around the top of it.
'Just to be able to walk with two hands free is something I'm really looking forward to,' she told the paper at her home in Bolwarra, north of Sydney.
'And to be able to cuddle someone without having to have crutches hanging off me - it's those minor things.'
A former Australian wheelchair tennis champion, Miss Cringle added: 'I've beaten the odds with growing the bone as much as it has and so I know it is going to happen now. I've come too far for it not to.'
Miss Cringle was following her dream of overseas travel and working in London when she was hit by the train, her injuries so severe that she was not expected to live.
She had suffered severe head injuries, broken ribs and spinal discs and pierced lungs - in addition to losing her leg which was amputated above the knee when she was rushed to St Thomas' Hospital, London.
An accomplished violin player, she said that music had helped her with her recovery.
In an interview with the Catholic newspaper Aurora five years ago, Miss Cringle said that people had often doubted her capabilities 'but just because my circumstances have changed it doesn't mean I have changed.'
She believed the reason she was still alive was to allow her to continue achieving.
'There must be a good purpose to be here, something left for me to still do. I just haven't found it yet.'
Now she and surgeons hope that she and her new limb will give hope to many others who have suffered similar injuries.
The new generation of bionic limbs are an enormous improvement on old prosthetic ones.
The combination of motion and speed sensors and advanced computing mean they can detect small changes in movement and direction.
Also, Using hydraulics, valves close and lock the knee in place when standing upright.
And despite being fitted with hi-tech gadgets and lithium batteries bionic legs, which cost around £50,000, can weigh as little as 2.9lb.