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Our congrats to Orrin Schroeder

Our congrats to Orrin Schroeder – way to go! A recent below–the–knee amputee, 67-year-old Orrin came to Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital to be fitted for a prosthetic leg and receive outpatient therapy. On May 19, a little more than a month after he received his prosthesis, Orrin shot a hole–in-one on hole 16 at…
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Prosthetic legs don’t deter Grand Rapids man

Due to complications from diabetes, Dan Feather’s left leg had to be amputated below the knee. He was 73 at the time and, after a couple weeks of rehabilitation at Mary Free Bed, was ready to return home to his wife, Wilma. Later, the same circulation problem took his left leg. That was two years…
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A Man with Two Prosthetic Legs Receives a Change for the Better

When he was only 7 years old, Harry Zemmer received his first pair of artificial legs from Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital. “They were like hollow logs,” recalls Harry, a 60-year-old Ann Arbor man who was born without fully developed lower limbs. “There were no knees.” With hydraulics, microprocessors, braking mechanisms, energy-saving technology and myriad…
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Sierra Miller Wins Gold at USCA National Event

by Stephanie Millis Sierra Miller won the gold medal in the kayak event at the United States Canoe Association (USCA) Nationals, held in Newaygo, on August 9. Sierra, 15, lost her leg in a lawn mower accident when she was 7 years old. Initially, doctors told Sierra’s parents that even though Sierra’s leg would be…
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Cancer survivor plays wheelchair tennis against able-bodied competitors

by Kate Snider Jess Sporte, 23, lost her leg to cancer when she was just 4 months old. Jess uses crutches for short distances and a wheelchair for longer distances. She received outpatient care from the Center for Limb Differences at Mary Free Bed until she was 21 years old. Growing up, Jess watched from the sidelines as…
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Struck by drunk driver, amputee prepares for Paralympics

by Kate Snider Melanie Johnson was riding her motorcycle to her nephew’s football game in September 2004 when she was struck by a drunk driver. The life-changing accident happened just 5 miles from home. “I knew it was really bad when I heard the helicopter,” Melanie said. “I remember thinking, if they had to call…
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Staying positive with Maria Penland

by Jess Venlet Mary Free Bed launched a new advertising campaign June 1. This post is the first in a series of the rehabilitation and recovery stories of all the real Mary Free Bed patients featured in our new commercials and billboards. Just moments after I say, “Thank you, Maria. Bye.” and end our phone…
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Expert Information: Amputation & Prosthesis

Dr.  Benjamin Bruinsma has worked at Mary Free Bed for nearly 20 years. He’s the director of the amputee, orthopedic, and stroke programs. Therapy and prosthesis fitting A prosthesis is a man-made substitute for a missing body part.  It helps with function and mobility, and may give you more confidence in your appearance.  The time…
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Scott Rigsby, Double-Amputee Ironman

Scott Rigsby, the first double-leg amputee athlete to finish the grueling 140-mile Ford Ironman Marathon. Scott came to Grand Rapids in March to speak to the audience about his life, his book “UnThinkable,” and the importance of an active lifestyle. The event, “No Finish Line in Site,” was sponsored by Mary Free Bed, Gazelle Sports and…
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