I had a choice to make: Did I want to design things, build things, and develop new technology? Or did I want to go into the medical field and help people?
My two interests were leading me in opposite directions . . . until I discovered the field of prosthetics.
As the Certified Prosthetist/Orthotist at Premier Prosthetic Center, I have the opportunity to combine my ability to design and adapt technology to help patients and improve quality of life.
Growing up in South Carolina, I always enjoyed helping my dad tinker with various jobs in the shop – cars, boats, and even rebuilding motor cycles. I loved taking things apart and seeing how they worked. As that early experience piqued my interest in technology, I decided to study biology and physics at the College of Charleston. While attending college, I volunteered as an emergency medical technician and discovered a passion for clinical patient care. I then focused my attention on biomedical engineering and transferred to The George Washington University.
During my senior year, I discovered prosthetics and orthotics on a tour through Walter Reed Medical Center. What I saw inspired the senior design project in the engineering program. Collaborating with the professionals at Walter Reed, I designed prosthetic componentry – a single-axis knee with torsion spring extension assist along with a spring steel running foot.
Helping to improve quality of life for amputees through the use of the latest technology is important to me. I suffered a serious spinal injury while skydiving and the long, difficult rehabilitation from that injury stretched my faith as well as my direction in life. I became focused on helping others. Now this experience allows me to relate well to my patients and their concerns about life-altering medical procedures.
Premier Prosthetic Center has a unique business model. I am able to work closely with both the surgeons of Premier Surgical Associates and my patients – from the time patients make the surgical decision with their physician until they are fitted and comfortable using their new prosthesis. Together, we discuss goals to match the lifestyle, review the many prosthetic options available and determine the best technology for each individual case.
For some patients, the goal is purely cosmetic, they want the device to look as natural as possible and there are many options to improve the cosmesis of the prosthesis. However, some people have more functional or performance-related goals and want to maximize their activity level. Whatever the goal, my aim is to match the proper prosthetic device to the patient’s needs, optimizing their vitality and quality of life. I encourage open lines of communication to determine what works best in each case. It is important to help patients understand that while amputation may change their life, it doesn’t have to make it worse or limiting.
As the former clinical director at Southern Ortho Care in Morristown, I appreciate the ability to focus primarily on prosthetics at Premier Prosthetic Center. It is my passion to work in the science of patient care. I truly enjoy getting to know my patients and working with the excellent team at Premier Prosthetic Center to help patients achieve their goals and restore vitality and to enjoy life to the fullest.
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