Most of us here at D&J Medical can tell you all about our favorite Lab Tech Buddy. He has been in the Prosthetic industry for most of his life. We were fortunate enough for him to join our team back in 2010. What most patients don’t notice at first is that he is a Below Knee Amputee. He lost his leg due to a motorcycle accident when he was 16 years old.

Buddy is the definition of a success story. His bright spirit and mindset can inspire anyone. When you talk to Buddy about his amputation he is very open and willing to share his story, which is very helpful for our new amputees. Buddy is always willing to meet with a patient at any time who is worried about certain issues involving their amputation. He will travel to a patient’s home where the patient can be more comfortable.  He has been in their shoes and felt the pain of losing a limb, he doesn’t cut anyone slack though he will be honest and tell them they have to do their part too.

The emotional, and physical aspects of losing a limb changes with every amputee. Buddy’s amputation was due to trauma. He explains that it is a totally different experience then having Diabetes. The main causes for an amputation is vascular disease (54%) – including diabetes and peripheral arterial disease- trauma (45%) and cancer (less than 2%). With a trauma it happens very quickly, it’s unexpected.  With an infection or Diabetes it is a longer process, you know what is coming. When you have Diabetes having a limb amputated does not take away your diabetes even after the surgery you have to do the right things by keeping a healthy diet, and exercise. That’s when, Buddy says “you have to do your part”.

After Buddy had his amputation it took him a year to start feeling better mentally and physically. He had his moments every now and then of being upset but he had help from great family and friends to get through those moments. A lot of his healing had to do with his extremely positive mindset. He states “what’s the use in complaining, it is what it is.” After he received his prosthetic and started walking things got a lot better. Buddy became determined to get back on his motorcycle. He made an extension on his boot to help him shift the gears on his bike. Through that process he had to go to the DMV just to show them he was capable to ride again. Buddy stills rides his motorcycle to this day.

A lot of patients wonder about phantom pain. Buddy states that he did have pain in his stump for a period of time in the beginning. He described it as being a constant toothache, not sure if it was phantom pain or not but he did experience pain.

Buddy was interested in prosthetics very soon after his amputation. His thinks that is why he is still here. I have to agree with him. It make him very happy to be able to pour knowledge into new amputees. The questions asked most often are, “what is the process?”, “how long will it be before I get the prosthetic?”. “Will I ever walk again?.” Buddy not only talks to the patient but their loved ones. Buddy states you have two choices, you keep on going or you don’t, it is all up to you! He wants patients to always remember he is there for them at any time, just to talk or ask questions.

Buddy is a huge asset to D&J Medical. He is able to connect to patients in a way that we can’t. We are very grateful to have him. Buddy is able to give our patients hope and encouragement. After they talk to Buddy they know they will get better and be able to live without limits.