In the spring of 1998, at the age of 47, David began to experience lower back pain. After 30 days, the pain continued. An MRI ordered by his PCP indicated a 9.5cm X 9.5cm mass on his left hip, which was just beginning to encroach on his sciatic nerve.
The mass, believed to be benign, was biopsied in September 1998, indicating it was a soft tissue sarcoma. For several weeks, David received radiation to encapsulate the tumor to ultimately facilitate removal.
In December of 1998, the tumor was successfully excised and the cancer recovery clock began. After radiation and a difficult surgical procedure, his surgeon suggested his right hip would last anywhere between 2-10 years before a replacement hip would be needed. In 2004, David was declared cancer-free.
In the spring of 2006, the affected hip finally required a replacement. Three days after the hip replacement, it dislocated while he was still in the hospital requiring urgent care. About six months later, David became septic from MRSA in the newly replaced hip, resulting in hospitalization, a series of IV antibiotics and several more surgeries for debridement.
In December 2006, his family relocated to Nashville, where the infections and surgeries continued. He ended up with a girdle stone procedure and multiple surgeries to remove portions of his infected femur and pelvis. Antibiotics and a wound vac was the combined treatment for 13 months.
In May 2010, with an open wound after yet another debridement of his right femur, his home was completely lost in the infamous Nashville Flood. He was rescued from high waters by the local fire department, resulting in his wound becoming infected with E coli, requiring surgery, rehabilitation and bed rest for seven weeks.
In 2012, due to strained mobility, being non weight-bearing on the right side, and virtually “dragging” this infected limb, his other (left) hip began to show signs of deterioration. His left femur spontaneously fractured and dislocated, yet he was unable to have a left total hip replacement immediately due to his right leg.
In February 2013, David became septic from the right calf wound, leading to emergency above-the-knee amputation. Recuperation after the amputation was compounded due to the continued deterioration of the left hip.
In late July 2013, infection free, the left hip was replaced. After six weeks of rehabilitation, he remained optimistic and curious about the possibility of a prosthetic right lower limb. He was told he would NEVER be able to wear a prosthesis. Encouraged by the PTs, he received a script for a prosthetic evaluation and decided to work with Bulow after meeting with five different prosthetic companies.
He received his first prosthesis in October 2013, surprising not only Bulow personnel but himself by taking his first steps and walking the 20’ parallel bar length the first time he wore the prosthesis.
A huge accomplishment for him was participating in the Achilles Hope & Possibilities race in 2014. Using a wheelchair and walking one mile uphill with his prosthesis, he finished in a blistering time of 37 minutes! Matt (David?) has declared this moment to be one of the most inspirational moments of his life.
In July 2014, he received the second version of his prosthetic limb, which included the original Ossur Power Knee and new adjustable Revo socket allowing for easier donning. Although he says he has plateaued, he remains optimistic, enthusiastic and committed to seek further accomplishments!