Colten Deskins: Always Ready for the Next Adventure
When we first met Colten, he was a bit shy and not quite sure of the new surroundings, but it did not take long at all before his adventurous nature and vivacious personality came shining through. We all look forward to his visits because he and his family all bring such joy to the office. It was Colten himself who approached me after seeing our Patient Spotlight Binder in the office because he wanted to have his story in "the book". We are honored and proud to share the story of his journey. I interviewed his Mom, Lauren to get "the scoop".
: Can you please tell me the story (cause) of Colten's amputation?
: Colten was born with a foot deformity. They [the doctors] believe it was caused by an amniotic band while in the womb, but it was never verified. During ultra sounds, it had looked as though he had all digits on his foot, so it was a huge shock when he was born. Being that he was our first child, it was scary the thoughts of the future and the unknown. No one in our families had ever had to deal with this.
: What was it like, for you as a parent, having to make that difficult decision (to go through with amputation surgery)? What were some of the thoughts or fears you may have had?
During the first few years, we took the approach that, if he was not bothered by it [his limb difference] at the time because he was to too young to really realize he was different, then we will do our best to make the right decision for his well being and take it one step at a time. We had 2 surgeries in 2 years to release his heel [Achilles tendon] so his residual foot would be flat. We began to notice as time went on that Colten's residual foot would turn in while wearing shoes, and the older he got, the more he would trip. That is when we knew we had to make the decision to find a better prosthetic. We knew that he would need to get something that would look more "normal" by the time he went to school because kids are harsh.
Q: What are the biggest lessons you have learned during this journey?
The biggest lesson Colten has learned is that there are people out there just like him. When he is out and notices things that are different on others [other people who have prostheses, etc.], he just smiles. He doesn't like when people judge him or stare
Q: Are there some positive moments that stand out strongly to you (ie: achieving a big milestone, etc.)?
During the first few years, we had all sorts of AFO's [Ankle Foot Orthosis] and eventually moved on to a prosthesis. Colten remembers his first prosthesis very well. He remembers that it allowed his foot to be straight, and this allowed him to be able to run a little more easily. He could also finally wear shoes without a lift on the bottom. He got his first pair of Nike shoes and thought they were so great.
Q: Can you help us understand why Colten having a prosthesis so important to you? How would life be different if he did not have a prosthesis?
Without prosthesis, who knows what kind of self-esteem Colten would have? Kids are always curious about it. With the type of prosthesis he has now, he doesn't feel like it is just a brick on the bottom of his foot. The titanium helps put a spring in his step!
Q: What advice or insight would you give someone facing amputation (or parents facing having to make that decision) that may be nervous or scared about going through with it?
Having to make the decision to take off part of Colten's foot to help make it easier for him to walk and lead a more normal life was nerve wracking, but we knew we were not alone and are very grateful we have a healthy child that is just a little more special. Don't fear that there will be no help out there. The more and more veterans come home and need to have medical equipment to help live a normal life, the more research is going to be done and new types of prostheses will be available.
Q: Would you recommend Optimus Prosthetics to your family/friends? If so, why?
Absolutely! We love Tim, Jaimie, and everyone in the office. From the minute I called to see if they could help us, to every follow up appointment, they have answered all our questions. They have worked hard to help us fix anything that comes up and give us a great feeling what will the future will look like [for Colten]. They are down to earth and even take the time to include our daughter [making it fun for her too] during the visits. They are very kid-friendly and knowledgeable. We are so glad we took a chance on a number in the phone book for a consultatio
Colten with Columbus Clinical Manager, Tim Riedlinger, CPO