Changing the World One Prosthesis At A Time
SAN ANGELO, TX – Giving back to those who need it the most is the mission at the heart of The Prosthetic Foundation. This nonprofit organization is giving amputees the opportunity to get their life back by providing them assistance in financing prosthesis at a low cost.
The organization, founded in 2010, is based in San Antonio and helps individuals across the state who are in dire need of a prosthesis find a provider that can offer them help at an at-cost price. Prosthesis are often expensive, and those who do have insurance often face elevated premiums or high deductibles. In Texas amputees who are covered under Medicaid are not eligible to receive assistance for their prosthesis, Ashton Marsh, Marketing Specialist at The Prosthetic Foundation, explained.
The Prosthetic Foundation provides grants for amputees, which allows them to spend less time on other non-profit waiting lists. This can ultimately lead to decreased health problems as wheelchair bound patients are more susceptible to certain illnesses if they are forced to be sedentary while dealing with the loss of a limb.
According to research conducted by the Amputee Coalition in 2015, more than 500 Americans face the reality of being a new amputee every single day. Below the knee replacements can cost anywhere between $2,500 to $5,000; above the knee begins at $3,500, and can range up to $5,000 when financed at an “at-cost” pricing. By hosting events such as Help 10 Amputees in 100 Days event, the foundation can help patients receive the help they need in a timely manner.
The foundation meets with its board members two times a month in order to review new applications and take into consideration medical status, insurance situation, and financial need. After an application is approved, the amputee can suggest the company he or she wishes to purchase the prosthesis from and begins the process to ensure the correct device is chosen and fits the need of the applicant.
The foundation also provides aid by covering the cost of the prosthesis and giving the funds directly to the company. After the device is given to the patient, he or she must undergo at least two mandatory checkups so the foundation can assess the development and progress made, and to ensure the device is a good fit. Individuals who are able to finance part of their prosthesis are also welcomed to apply for partial grants.
Receiving a prosthesis is a life changing experience, said Marsh, who has seen the impact the prosthesis can have in her own life. There are many inspiring stories of individuals who have gotten their lives back to “normal” after experiencing the loss of a limb.
She recalled the story of a single mother of three who had lost a limb and had to raise her kids alone after her husband left the family because he was unable to deal with her situation. Receiving her prosthesis allowed her to return to the life she had before and continue to thrive and flourish alongside with their kids.
For those interested in receiving aid or donating to this cause, visit The Prosthetic Foundation.org. All the information needed to become a grant recipient can be found on the site as well as a donation form. One hundred percent of the funds raised are allocated to the patients.
“We thank you for giving an amputee the ability to regain their independence,” Marsh said. “Because without donors, none of this would be possible.”