Martha was 13 years old when she became ill with meningococcal meningitis. This led to amputations of both arms below the elbow & both legs below the knee as well as scarring on much of her body. She received extensive OT during inpatient rehabilitation using activity modification, assistive devices, & prosthetic training to allow her to go back to playing with her Barbie dolls, caring for herself, & attending school. Martha received outpatient OT on numerous occasions as a young adult to help her relearn how to accomplish daily tasks when she switched from body-powered to myoelectric arm prostheses, and to help her meet the challenges of attending college and driving a car. Martha is now in her 30s, employed full-time as a service coordinator for Orange County Regional Center, and happily married. I have been touched and honored that she has invited me to celebrate milestones with her over the years including her school graduations and her recent wedding. Martha is an inspiring example of OT helping people live life to the fullest.
By Lisa Deshaies, OTR/L, CHT