John Molnar was first introduced to Optimus Prosthetics prior to his amputation on April 4, 2017. A patient advocate came to his room to discuss what to expect and answered questions he had. His first thoughts were, "Ok, "what does this person know about wearing a prosthesis? I've talked to sales people in the past and they don't have the experience to relate to their customers about what they are selling. But, she (the patient advocate) crossed her legs and there was her prosthetic leg!"
After John had a stent placed in his aortic artery he developed a blockage that stopped blood from getting to his foot. The infection was so bad that his foot was gangrenous. And although John underwent multiple surgeries and wore a wound vac for over a month, it was recommended by his vascular surgeon that he undergo a below the knee amputation before the infection spread to his knee.
John was fit with a Zippercast after his surgery. A Zippercast is a removable rigid cast that is applied immediately after surgery. The Zippercast helps to keep the patient's knee in extension and provides protection to the distal end of the limb. Some surgeons will request an IPOP; an immediate post-operative dressing. This type of device has a foot and pylon added to the Zippercast a few days after the surgery. The foot and pylon are used by the patient after they are cleared by the surgeon to weight bear.
|Zippercast with foot and pylon
"My biggest difficulty was accepting my leg was gone, and coming to terms with the fact that my leg is gone and everything leading up to it. What amazes me is the people that you've known. They shy away from you now because you lost your leg, and because they don't know what to say to you. For me, I don't have a problem with it. I'm not in pain anymore. Most people don't even know I have a prosthetic leg unless I show it them."
After his surgery, John received physical therapy. "The therapy at Walnut Creek and at Kettering In-Patient Rehab was great. They get you up and get you going. They get you mentally prepared for what you're going to do that day. These people knew what to do and when to do it."
The same is true about the employees at Optimus. David (Frautschi) has been my practitioner through all of this. The care and explanation he has provided to me has been outstanding. Even today, a year after my surgery, he's able to show me new techniques."
It took a while to learn how to walk again. I've had a lot of support from my girlfriend, Judy. She's been terrific. She's been through it with me for the whole ride. She understood what was needed for me to progress. And she led me down that path of progression. She encouraged me. She's been my therapist at home and my own personal cheerleader."
John had an opportunity to share his experience with others. "When I was going through therapy at Kettering, I was asked to talk to a patient that just recently had his leg amputated. I told him 'It's all about attitude. You can feel sorry for yourself and sit around and not make any progress. Or, you can have the attitude that I can learn to live with this. You do what the people (the therapists) tell you to do. Do that, and you'll be ok.'"
John's experience with Optimus has been encouraging. "Working with David (Frautschi) and Chris Mancuso, my therapist at Kettering, it's all just fallen together. It's been less than a year and I'm walking without any assistance. I feel good about it. I just told David today about how happy I am with the progress I've made. And if it weren't for David and Chris, I wouldn't be at this point. The people at Optimus treat you like family.
It's like walking into Cheers! Everybody knows your name. It's the small things, but it resonates that the people here care about caring."
|John Molnar and David Frautschi, CP