Prosthetic Users group meets monthly in Belpre

Members of the Prosthetic Users group meet on location with Rick Headley, Driver Rehabilitation Specialist in Marietta. Front Row, from left, Jay Yost, Kay and Bill Enlow. Back Row, Fred Yonda, Rick Headley, Nancy Miller, Jack and Linda Fetty, Francis Trickett, Kim and Jeff McLaughlin. (Photo Provided)

BELPRE — Limb loss in the Mid-Ohio Valley is more common than first realized.

According to the National Amputee Coalition’s report, over 2.1 million people in the United States are living with limb loss and 507 people who lose a limb every day.

Those living with the loss of a limb or facing an amputation are not alone.

Amputees living in the Mid-Ohio Valley and surrounding area get together monthly to share tips and tricks for adapting to life with limb loss.

The group meets 6:30 p.m. second Tuesdays of the month at Miller Prosthetics and Orthotics’ new location in Belpre, 2354 Richmiller Lane. Occasionally the meeting is held at another location, so check the website each month for the location at www.PUGMOV.com or call Nancy at 740-421-4211.

The meetings often start with a speaker. Recent speakers have included physical therapists, massage therapists and member chiropractors.

Members also have met with the amputee support group from Columbus, Amps4Ohio, for day trips to Blennerhassett Island and Lake Logan.

Participants set personal goals and when they are achieved, they are awarded with a gold medal for that month. Goals range from taking a few steps to riding a bike again or returning to work.

The local group is part of the national support group network from the Amputee Coalition. Free information is available free and links to online resources.

Books about amputees, such as “Living with No Excuses” by Noah Galloway and “On My Own Two Feet: From Losing My Legs to Learning the Dance of Life” by Amy Purdy, are also available for members.

Members at meetings also are encouraged to participate in activities, such as adaptive snow and water skiing, kayaking, ballroom dancing, rock climbing, the Annual Amputee Coalition’s National Conference and the Annual Amputee Celebration in Columbus.

Group leaders Mark and Nancy Miller of Miller Prosthetics always attend the activities and conferences with members to help them knock another goal off their list.

An instructor is arranged to provide an 8-hour training for the National Amputee Coalition’s Peer Visitor Training to certify members to visit people who are considering an amputation, or who have recently undergone an amputation. It is important for people to know that there is life after amputation and it is often possible to return to their previous activity levels.

Often, when a new amputee sees how well a peer walks with an artificial limb, their hope and motivation is restored.

They can also ask questions to someone who has already experienced the range of emotions and physical issues or challenges that they are currently going through. The training date has not been set yet, but if interested call Nancy Miller at 740-421-4211.

While an amputee doesn’t need the support of the group, they can be inspiration and support for others.

Stories and photos are also shared on the groups’ Facebook page Prosthetic Users Group Mid Ohio Valley. A link is at PUGMOV.com.

Miller Prosthetics and Orthotics provides people with the most comfortable and functional fit for artificial limbs, orthotic braces, supports and cranial helmets. Patients are seen in two locations in Belpre and Parkersburg.

The company also leads the Prosthetic Users Group of the Mid-Ohio Valley, owns the three-legged certified therapy dog Keating, and are certified visitors through the Amputee Coalition.

For more information about Miller Prosthetics & Orthotics, call 740-421-4211, visit millerpo.com or email info@millerpo.com.

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