Andi Courneya was always a careful motorcycle rider, but 12 years ago, Andi’s life changed forever when he was hit by a truck while riding his motorcycle.
As a result of the accident, Andi had a large number of metal plates and screws installed in his foot and lost almost all foot function.
"The overall condition of my foot following the accident can only be referred to as 'pulverized,' with substantial bone breakage and muscle, vascular and soft tissue damage," says Andi.
Prior to the accident, Andi lived an active life and regularly biked and rollerbladed. But after the accident, the inability to even wear a shoe left him unable to do the activities he loved.
After some debate, Andi went to University of Minnesota Medical Center and saw Scott McGarvey, MD, orthopedic surgeon, for a second opinion about his best course of care. Following the visit, Andi was certain that amputation would be better than continuing to live with his foot in its current condition--especially given another big change in his life.
“I had considered amputation, but decided in December of 2006 that it was the best option, since my daughter was starting to walk,” says Andi.
After undergoing an amputation at University of Minnesota Medical Center, Andi's next challenge was finding a prosthetic that would fit him and his lifestyle.
Andi turned to Fairview Orthotics and Prosthetics. Fairview's partnership with the University of Minnesota made it easy for Andi to access a variety of specialists and experts. He also liked that Fairview was able to fit a prosthetic leg into his lifestyle, and not the other way around.
“I've been able to be active, like I was pre-accident, since I received a prosthetic leg from Fairview,” says Andi. “To be able to sustain my previous lifestyle and do the same things with my kids is a big deal.”
Andi isn’t the only one who’s happy about his new lease on life. His wife, Jenny, appreciates how well Andi’s prosthetic leg works with his everyday routine.
“It was very important that he would be able to maintain the level of activity that he was accustomed to having with his new prosthetic leg,” says Jenny. “Not only for his daughter, but we also have a brand new baby with us. I’m awestruck by how much of a hands-on dad Andi gets to be because of Fairview."
Andi recommends that others who are in a similar situation believe in themselves.
“To those who are struggling to get on a prosthetic for the first time or get one renewed with the necessary parts, stay strong—you’re stronger than you think—and be confident!” says Andi.
Jenny also has advice for people supporting loved ones through the prosthetics process.
“Be supportive and understand that there are difficult days and frustration,” says Jenny. “Be encouraging and be a cheerleader when they don’t want to push forward. It requires a lot of strength to be an amputee, and I hope Andi’s story raises awareness of the prosthetic options available.”
Find more information about the services available at Fairview Orthotics and Prosthetics.