Patient Stories: Richard "Dick" Devers Year Three

Dick Devers first wrote a patient story two years ago after his first year as an amputee. Last year, at the second “anniversary” of his amputation, he wrote an update. You can read those stories by scrolling through our archives.

Dick was asked to make a commercial for a product he uses, and so this year, Dick shares his commercial! This commercial is beautifully filmed, and Dick talks about his limb loss and the active life he has been able to maintain. Dick, who sees Mark Treasure, CP, BOCO in our Lavale office, loves his West Virginia mountains (and Mountaineers!), his motorcycle, and his family. This love shines through the commercial.

Here is the commercial that Dick stars in!

Patient Stories: Joanne Hutchinson

Mrs. Joanne Hutchinson had her right leg amputated below the knee in May of 2017. She wore an offloading orthosis for a year and a half before her amputation in an effort to save her foot. She received her first prosthesis in August 2017 and hasn't looked back since!

She is happy to have gotten back to walking independently, shopping, and returning to "life as usual". In particular, she is so happy she can wear a regular shoe again! Before her first prosthesis in 2017, the last time she wore a shoe on her right side was the summer of 2015. She says, "To anyone out there that is going through an experience with their foot or part of their body, know that there is light at the end of the tunnel for you."

Patient Stories: Jeffry Barnes

Mr. Jeffry Barnes was in a couple of days ago at our Sinai office for an adjustment to his prosthesis. He is a patient of Sheryl Nathanson, CPO.

He has been an amputee for just under two years. Since receiving his prosthesis he has returned to walking independently and has gone back to working odds and ends jobs. He plans to run again soon! His advice to others in a similar situation is, "Just stay strong".

He recently went on a trip to Honduras, and he reports:

"I walked up a mountain and went zip-lining. And most importantly, I survived!"

Patient Stories: Robert Fleetwood

Meet Mr. Robert Fleetwood, a very successful user of a reciprocating gait orthosis (RGO). He has only had his orthosis since early May of 2018 but has made amazing gains in physical therapy! This is his third bout of physical therapy at the Kennedy Krieger Institute International Center for Spinal Cord Injury (ICSCI). He said that the most powerful motivators in his journey to recovery and walking again were his wife, and seeing the success of others around him at ICSCI. Mr. Fleetwood says that he struggled a lot internally to find motivation especially right after his injury. He says that after his injury, he had trouble even sitting upright when he first came to KKI. He wasn't able to dress himself or do a lot of his daily activities. He expressed a great deal of gratitude for his care team, both at KKI and Dankmeyer. He never thought he would be where he is now, given where he started.

He is now able to walk with a walker and his RGO, completely on his own, and can make a quarter lap around the ICSCI gym. One of his goals with the RGO was to stand without using his hands, so he could do more activities in the kitchen specifically, such as cooking and doing dishes. He is able to walk with his RGO for about 45 minutes to an hour so far, after roughly eight weeks of therapy. 

He expresses that the time after his injury was very difficult. Now when he sees someone that is newly injured that is at KKI, he will go over and talk to them, to see if he can help them out. He knows what it was like to struggle at the beginning, and wants to help other people in a similar situation. To anyone who is newly injured or having a tough time, he says, "Shoot for the stars. Don't let people tell you what you can and can't do." He feels truly blessed to have his wife, who helped him regain his motivation and also bring back his positive attitude. Once he got on the right track everything fell in place for him. He even improved his nutrition to help with his recovery and improve his strength.

His goal for his next bout of care is to do the running man exercise, shown here.

He also wants to be out in the community all day long, being able to walk with his orthoses. He hopes one day to progress to walking without his orthoses. His practitioner, Nina Bondre, CPO, says, “Mr. Fleetwood is truly an inspiration. Working with him has been a joy, and his positive energy is contagious. I hope others can see his success and be motivated to keep pushing themselves.”

Patient Stories: Kaleb Mearkle

Kaleb's mom, Nicole Warnick, writes this story for us about her sixteen year old son Kaleb:  Kaleb Mearkle resides in Grantsville, Maryland with his family.  In fact, he just celebrated his sixteenth birthday!  He attended Mountain View Christian School in Springs, PA this past year in 9th grade.  A young man who easily wins your heart with his warm personality, he always has a smile and a wonderful attitude.

He enjoys hunting and fishing with his stepfather and uncle, playing video games with his big brother and even baking with his mother, godmother and aunt.  Kaleb is a Junior Cadet at the Bittinger Volunteer Fire Department under the watchful eye of Chief Justin Orendorf. He is just an amazing young man.  He is not disabled, he just plays and lives with a handicap.  Kaleb has played baseball in the past and now he plays basketball for his school.  He also loves to travel, especially going to the ocean and going out to Arizona to visit his Aunt Juju(Julia) and her family.  

This young man of determination and will was born with a congenital deformity of the right leg which required a below the knee amputation at just two months old.   Kaleb is a patient at John Hopkins Hospital under Doctor Paul Sponseller and has been with Dr. Sponseller since birth.  He has also been part of The Children's League since he was eight months old, where he continues his care with them under the watchful eye of Cathy Broaden. He has been with Dankmeyer for a number of years as Cumberland practitioner Mark Treasure's (CP, BOCO) patient. 

Kaleb has not only learned to live with his amputation and wearing his prosthesis since he was six months old, but he has faced other health issues.  Despite numerous obstacles throughout his life, Kaleb finds a way and works hard to overcome them.  His “I can do it” attitude and determination has enabled him to enjoy life.  

NOTE: Recently, another patient encountered Kaleb while on an office visit to the Cumberland office.  This patient commented on a conversation that he shared with Mark Treasure and Kaleb (whom he did not know) - what a "respectful and positive man" Kaleb was.