On November 20, 2013, Mr. Vincent Harrigan was riding his Victory Tour motorcycle on a quiet, two-lane country road. As he rounded a curve, there was a white automobile nearing in the opposite direction, impeding on his half of the road. The vehicle continued overtaking his lane, with no shoulder available for Mr. Harrigan to escape. The car hit him, knocking him down a bank and into a creek, shattering his leg. On December 19, 2013, after four operations to save his leg, Mr. Harrigan became an above the knee amputee.
Being fitted for a proper prosthesis is a difficult task for both the prosthetist and the patient. Mr. Harrigan declares, “A problem in my case is my stump seems to change volume, even now almost two years later. The added usual problems with sweat, rashes and blisters often make fitting my stump feel almost abusive. I'm not sure who has the most challenging part of these fittings, the prosthetist or the patient.”
He can only speak from the patient’s perspective. Learning to get up on that first prosthesis. Learning to move step by step. Advancing on to walking with a walker and a cane, which proved more challenging than he would have ever thought. Attitude is key. Anger, feeling sorry for the situation, blame - all those things in all their negative varieties are self-defeating. His motto today: “It is what it is. This is me, my new normal, for the rest of my life. All I can do is make the best of what I have. Learn new ways to do things I want and need to do. I will not let myself be confined to a chair. I will push myself and my prosthetic team to accomplish as much and more than I even now believe possible. I acknowledge both me and my team’s achievements. Celebrate them when possible. The rest of my life is in front of me. No crying about the past. I will be the best me I can be, and be ever so thankful for it all."