Monday, July 13, 2015

Congratulations Scholarship Recipients

The Amputee Coalition is honored to be the steward for the Scott Decker, M.D. Memorial Scholarship which was established by his friends and colleagues after his passing in 1989.  After a thorough vetting process, four applicants have been chosen to receive the $1,000 scholarship to further their education.  “The Amputee Coalition is very pleased to have so many qualified applicants for the Scott Decker, MD, Scholarship that we were able to award four different individuals. Each of these young people has learned to live successfully with limb loss and each has clear goals for their future,” said Susan Stout, president & CEO of the Amputee Coalition. “Once again, we sincerely thank Dr. Decker’s family for the opportunities this scholarship will present to the recipients.”

Austin Brown will attend Washington State University and will study engineering. He’s an accomplished golfer who started playing the game at age four.“Dr. Decker did a lot of good for people during his life and his family continues to do so,” said Austin. “I hope that I can have a similar positive impact on others. I extend a sincere thanks to the Amputee Coalition and Dr. Decker’s family and friends for their generosity. I am truly honored to be recognized by the selection committee. I am sure that there were many deserving applicants, so it feels really good to have them believe in me and appreciate the hard work I have put in, academically and otherwise.”

Tyson Higel currently attends Northwest Missouri State University and is studying Therapeutic Recreation. Having just completed his freshman year with an impressive 4.0 GPA, he also boasts being a member of the  USA Volleyball’s A2 Sitting Volleyball team. Aptly balancing academics and sports, he aspires to play in the 2020 Paralympics. “I am honored that I have been selected as a recipient of the 2015 Scott Decker, M.D., Memorial Scholarship,” said Tyson. “This helps with the financial stress not only of having to pay for my undergraduate studies, but also for my future graduate studies. This scholarship allows me to continue my education path to becoming a certified orthotist/prosthetist, and for that I am grateful. I will continue to strive for excellence to make amputees, the Amputee Coalition and anyone who has a dream proud. Thank you. “

Brickelle Bro is heading to Stanford University this fall to study psychology and the mental impact of limb loss. She is also a member of the US Paralympic swim team who is also dreaming of Paralympic gold.  “I have always felt it was my responsibility as an amputee to speak with groups about limb loss and physical differences,” said Bro. “As I leave home for Stanford, I greatly appreciate this scholarship. The support of organizations like the Amputee Coalition will help me to attend college, but more importantly, show that talking about limb loss, supporting those who experience it, and working to prevent it are worthy activities. Limb loss is not a reason to settle for less from life. With the support of the Amputee Coalition, every person affected by limb loss can work hard to reach their full potential.”

Amy Frank, who lost her leg last year, is attending Texas A&M to pursue a degree in geophysics. Still adjusting to life as an amputee, she is determined to live life to the fullest and refuses to give up.  “This past year has been a great struggle but I am ready to move on and start my college life with the support of the Amputee Coalition. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Coalition for their generosity. I feel very fortunate to have been chosen as a recipient of this award. This scholarship has been a wonderful blessing! I could not be more excited to now officially be a Fighting Texas Aggie! Gig ‘Em!”

The Amputee Coalition is proud of the 2015-2016 recipients of the Scott Decker, M.D. Memorial Scholarship.  Each recipient was chosen because they demonstrate the academic standards, drive, and determination that were the hallmarks through Dr. Decker's illustrious career.  We look forward to watching each continue to grow and strive to reach their goals. 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Firework Caution

Emergency rooms across the country are bracing for an influx of injuries this weekend. If history is any guide between now and July 22, approximately 4,600 people will end up in the emergency room due to firework injuries. Most of the injuries sustained will involve fingers, hands, eyes and legs. The Amputee Coalition is urging the public to exercise caution and firework safety during this holiday weekend.

“Every year, after-the-fact, we hear the news reports about people losing fingers and portions of their hands to firework-related accidents,” said Amputee Coalition President & CEO Susan Stout. “Fireworks are a traditional part of America’s celebration of Independence Day; we want families to have fun this Fourth of July, but that does not include a preventable trip to the hospital emergency room. Legal consumer fireworks that comply with Consumer Product Safety Commission regulations can be relatively safe, but all fireworks are hazardous and can cause injury if proper safety measures are not followed.”

As fireworks are becoming increasingly available, the number of injuries and deaths due to misuse and malfunction have substantially risen.  2013 saw eight deaths and an estimated 11,400 consumers sustained injuries related to fireworks. This is a 31% increase over the 8,700 injuries in 2012.

The National Council on Fireworks Safety has developed a quiz to test the consumer's knowledge about firework safety.  We encourage everybody celebrating the holiday with fireworks to take this quiz which can be found here (link). 

The Consumer Product Safety Council (CPSC)  has issued these tips on how to stay safe over the holiday. Please review with friends and family before igniting fireworks this July 4th holiday:

  • Make sure the fireworks you want to buy are legal in your area before buying or using them.
  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, including sparklers.
  • Always have an adult nearby to supervise fireworks activities if older children are allowed to handle devices.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper, which is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move away from them quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding the device to prevent a trash fire.
  • The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) encourages the public to report the manufacture or sale of illegal fireworks to your local law enforcement agencies or to the ATF hotline at 888/ATF-BOMB (888/283-2662).

For more safety tips on fireworks, visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Being informed, exercising caution, and respecting the power of these explosives is paramount to celebrating a safe and festive holiday with fireworks. The Amputee Coalition would also like to remind the community that firework explosions can be a strong trigger for PTSD for our returning veterans, so please remain courteous about the use of these explosives if somebody in your community has experienced combat related PTSD.   The Amputee Coalition is urging everybody to employ caution, common sense, and courtesy when handling fireworks and have a safe and happy July 4th.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Connect with our App!

The Amputee Coalition is proud to be the leading resource for information pertaining to limb loss.  We take seriously the responsibility of providing the most up-to-date information for the community, and we are constantly striving to make it easy to access our resources . In addition to redesigning our website, we are excited to release our new mobile app.

Our mobile app, available now on iTunes and GooglePlay (just search Amputee Coalition) and compatible with both Apple and Android devices, puts the resources of the Amputee Coalition in an easy to access mobile format.  Our award winning magazine inMotion, our blog, our Facebook community, our tweets (@AmputeesUSA) and our YouTube videos (including our new Rehabilitation Video series) can all be easily accessed through our convenient, and free, app. Whether you are relaxing with your iPad at home or traveling with your phone, you can always connect with the Amputee Coalition and our vibrant social community. Download the app today and stay connected with the Amputee Coalition.

Conference is right around the corner, but there is still time to register for the most anticipated event in the limb loss community.  Whether you are new to limb loss or an experienced amputee, our diverse educational programming and activity opportunities offer something for you! The preliminary program and registration information are available on our website.  Check back often as we are constantly updating and adding new information.