After a devastating motorcycle accident in 2011 that crushed his right leg, Skip was faced with the reality of becoming an amputee. That’s when he met Jon Wilson, CPO/LPO, who helped guide him through the process of the amputation and receiving a prosthetic leg. Though Skip was nervous and had reservations about the amputation, Jon showed him videos of the entire process, as well as other individuals who use prosthetics, both of which helped put his mind at ease.
“When Jon met me in the hospital before my amputation, he took his time getting to know me on a personal level,” Skip said when asked about his relationship with Jon. “We discussed my current lifestyle, my goals, and even took into consideration my love for riding motorcycles.”
Growing up, Skip was always fascinated by motorcycles, cars, and basically anything with an engine and wheels. Today, he continues riding his motorcycle with a group of friends whenever the weather allows, his favorite travel spot being Arkansas. When he is not traveling on his bike, Skip spends time with his four grandsons, and will be welcoming his first granddaughter in the spring of 2021. Looking at Skip, you would not even notice he uses a prosthesis. While he is not self-conscious of his prosthetic limb, it does not change who he is, and he does not want to be defined by it.
The healing process, after Skip’s amputation, lasted approximately nine months. During that time, Skip was fitted with a post-operative protector and gel cushion liner to help prepare his residual limb for his 1st prosthesis. Jon then measured Skip utilizing a unique hybrid casting technique that resulted in a highly accurate mold of Skip’s remaining residual limb. From there, a custom prosthesis was fabricated, and Skip received his initial or training prosthesis. Skip’s training prosthesis worked to resolve basic mobility challenges and help to formulate the best prosthetic solution based on his current comfort and activity level. After a short time, Skip’s residual limb matured in shape and Skip was ready to be fit with his second prosthesis. Once Skip’s fit was restored, it allowed him to get around easier and take abnormal pressure off his residual limb. With his second leg, he could walk backward, walk upstairs easier and return to riding his motorcycle. Recently, Skip was fitted with his third prosthesis due to weight loss and recent improvements in prosthetic technology allowed Skip to receive a prosthesis with a new prosthetic foot that was much lighter and intuitive with curb, stairs and uneven surfaces.
Not only has he received tremendous care and support from P&O Care over the last nine years, but Skip has also found support in his recovery, physical therapy, prosthetic fitting process, and in his personal life. Through his recovery process, Skip grew his relationship with his daughter in law’s brother, David, who had a similar accident in 2011 resulting in them both going through the prosthetic process together.
Skip is currently a certified Peer Visitor with the Amputee Coalition. His motivation for being a Peer Visitor is to help those struggling find the comfort in knowing they are not alone. He enjoys being able to reassure others that there will be a return of normalcy in time and to not give up on your goals, even with a prosthetic.