Patient Stories: Joe Maese

Joe's Profile:

Joe Maese (pronounced MY-ESSAY) is originally from Phoenix, Arizona. He was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the 6th round in 2001. Joe continued his career with the Detroit Lions in 2006 and played Baltimore Arena Football in 2007. 

In 2010, Joe became a career firefighter/EMT.

Currently, Joe runs and operates 59 Athletics in Owings Mills, Maryland, where he trains high school and college student athletes and fitness/bodybuilding competitors.

Joe's Story:

When asked if deciding to have an amputation was difficult, Joe's answer is "Absolutely, and here's why: When what you are left with after an accident is causing you tremendous difficulty, many impossibilities, long-term infections, and the destruction of any good tissue or bone that is left, an amputation is not only a viable option, it can be a thriving alternative."

After four hospitals and seven doctor's opinions, Joe was finally introduced to Dr. Janet Conway, Advanced Orthopeadist and Foot Specialist. When Joe woke up from surgery and spoke to his doctor, she told him he definitely made the right decision in choosing to have his amputation. It had been a long road. Joe had fourteen surgeries in seven months and had enough of feeling like a hamster on a wheel. He decided the only way to stop the continual infections from growing further up his leg was to amputate and move forward. Dr. Conway's expertise and opinion was an integral part of Joe's decision making.

Last week marked five months since Joe's below-knee amputation. Joe feels that once his amputation wound healed, he could not have been paired with a better person and organization than Mark Hopkins (CPO, PT, MBA) and his team at Dankmeyer, Inc. Joe adds that from the start, Mark and his team recognized his individual, personal needs and continue to strive to get him the equipment that he needs in order to live his life to the fullest extent of his capabilities - and to not be held back by a prosthesis and equipment that does not work for him.

Joe attributes his successful transition to a prosthetic leg to the way he was raised and the many challenges and adversities he faced in his career choices as a pro football player and a firefighter. He adds that all of those things combined instilled in him the wherewithall to rise to the challenge that being an amputee requires and has given him continual drive and success moving forward.