Not many people would describe going through limb loss as a blessing , but then again, Steven Hinshaw is not most people. When a 6,000 lb metal piece of a bridge he was working on accidentally became detached in September 2016, it hit Steve and rolled down the right side of his body causing so much trauma he had to have his right leg amputated below his knee. When recalling those early moments in the hospital, Steve said he kind of knew in the back of his head that they probably wouldn't be able to save his limb. However, Steve relates that he vividly remembers one night, after his family had gone home and no one else was around, he felt an overwhelming sense of peace wash over him. He didn't know how, but he just knew that it was all going to be ok.
After going home from the hospital, the next big hurdle and, in Steve's mind, the only true setback he had dealt with was trying to navigate the worker's comp system (which can be overwhelming to the uninitiated). He tried to start the process of getting a prosthesis, but was told by another provider that they could not help him until he got his worker's comp case approved. He had nearly given up on getting a prosthesis. Then, Steve heard about Optimus from one of his doctors, and he was seen for evaluation and to start the prosthetic process that very same day. We explained all his options, and we worked tirelessly with Steve, his team of doctor's, and his worker's comp case manager and their team to help make sure that Steve got his prosthesis as quickly as possible. Through it all, Steve's family and his faith helped ground him and give him strength.
Now, Steve is back to living the active life he loves. "Having a prosthesis gives you your life back! Now, I can ride a bike, go fishing and stand up in the boat, go up and down stairs, and carry objects while walking. Without it [my prosthesis], my life would be limited." Looking back, Steve admits "I know it seems strange. My life was great before, and it just got better. To me, going through all of this [accident and amputation] was actually a blessing. I got to spend more time with my family. I grew closer to the Lord, and through Him, gained more strength than you could imagine."
We count it as truly an honor to work with Steve, and nothing brings us more joy than seeing how well he is doing and how active he is! When asked if he would recommend Optimus, without hesitation, Steve replied, " Yes! You [Optimus] took time and got me going [toward getting a prosthesis] when everybody else [other prosthetic provider] was waiting and waiting and waiting. You were more caring. My needs came first! When I called with questions, I never felt like I was a bother. I talked to Tim and asked questions, and he always seemed genuinely glad to talk to me. Then there is this girl named Kristilyn [admin] who is always happy, cheerful and laughing. It helps getting phone calls from someone who is happy." Steve's story and strength inspire each of us to look at life's challenges (no matter what they may be) in a new way and to find the good, to find the blessing in disguise.