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Loma Linda University Medical Center’s Orthotics and Prosthetics Team Gives Brazilian Athlete Ability to Walk
Date:7/11/2013

When she was 15 years old, she was hit by a car while riding a motorcycle. Five days after the accident, her left leg was amputated. Now, the 35 year old admits she turned to sports in an effort to find herself. “I didn’t even start competing until about three years ago.”

Weight lifting, sailing, long-distance running, and long jump are just a few of the sports she has participated in—all on crutches. She even ran a half-marathon in May 2013 on crutches. She confessed she previously had a prosthetic, but it did not fit properly and was hard to maintain. “I felt most comfortable on my crutches.”

Now, Mary is looking forward to her new legs. Through a grant provided by Challenged Athlete Foundation (CAF), she has a new prosthetic running foot that is designed specifically to fit her needs. Mary also received a walking leg thanks to private and corporate sponsorships, including a donation from Loma Linda University PossAbilities.

“This was a very unique situation and we wanted to help with the cost of the expedited design and fabrication of Mary’s new prosthetic,” said Pedro Payne, PossAbilities manager, “We are looking forward to being a continued resource for Mary as she accelerates as a professional athlete.”

Mary is beyond appreciative of all that LLUMC has provided to her. “I never thought all of this would ever be possible.” But now Mary is making the transition from her crutches to walking full time. “It has been a challenge to walk, but I’m hoping to be running with more ease and comfort very soon.”

Davidson admits additional rehabilitation would be optimal for Mary, but is confident of his work and of his patient. “I knew when we met her that she had the potential to go through this rapid and challenging process successfully. She has drive and determination unlike anyone I have ever met, and her transition has been unprecedented.”

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