Once again, Amputee Walking School did not disappoint! The Wednesday afternoon teaching session started with a fantastic presentation by Todd Schaffhauser and Dennis Oehler. They focused on in depth techniques to help our patients create a plan to become limb aware. This is work toward making patients feel like their prosthetic is a natural part of them - allowing them to reach maximum independence. The lively stories of personal experience and laughter created a welcoming environment where everyone felt like old friends.
Next came the event of the evening! The Walking School demonstrations and practice stations are free for those with lower limb loss and their families.
UM Rehab has a spacious and accommodating setup for the amputees to feel safe and right at home. They provided a water and a snack station for participants to enjoy refreshments between practice exercises. They had a generous amount of staff to assist each patient so no one was left out who wanted to practice their skills. UM Rehab PT staff, clinicians from Dankmeyer as well as interns and trained patient volunteers were guided by instructions from Todd and Dennis.
Dankmeyer clinicians Mark Hopkins, Angie Bryl and Rochelle Dumm were there, as well as new Prosthetic Assistant Dawn Miranda and former intern Kamilla Miller. Dawn Miranda, a lower limb amputee herself, was attending her first Amputee Walking School and reports:
“The room was full of laughter as patients tested out the balance beams, walked the parallel bars and stood on balance stations. There were even two putting stations with a challenge from Mark Hopkins that Dennis would pay $5.00 for 5 whole in ones!! This made this a fun new challenge!!! As a close to the evening everyone circled around Todd and Dennis for some words of hope and encouragement to each person in the room to not give up!
To reach for the challenge and accept it and become their best! They encouraged everyone to ”Count your steps!” because without steps every day we can’t reach our goal where we feel one with our leg! Their words drew loud applause. Everyone reflected on what they learned and the new friendships made that night. I am sure I am not the only one who can’t wait until November 20, when the next event is scheduled.”
As soon as we have more specific info for the next session, we will make that available. It is November 20, 2019, so mark your calendars.