Adjusting to Prosthetics After a Trauma

Sometimes life has unexpected challenges. One woman whose car was struck by a reckless driver has not only risen to the challenge of adapting to life with prosthetic feet, but is also sharing her story to inspire others.

Heidi Cave, who lives in British Columbia, Canada, got into her car in 1998 with a good friend. It was a sunny day, an ordinary day, until a careless driver drag racing crashed into them at more than 60 miles per hour.

Her friend was killed on impact and Heidi sustained serious injuries when the car went upside down and caught fire. Her family and friends weren’t sure she would survive; but after two weeks in a coma, Heidi woke to find out that she had lost her friend, her right leg was amputated below the knee, and she had been burned over 52% of her body.

During her months at the Burn and Plastic Surgery Unit, Heidi also had to have her left leg amputated. Her determination and courageous spirit allowed her to learn to use two prosthetic legs during rehabilitation. Here is a short movie she has shared on Youtube about her journey:

Heidi wrote about her horrible accident and all her struggles and victories afterward in a heartfelt memoir called Fancy Feet: turning my tragedy to hope. Her candid and down-to-earth writing style is poignant, and will touch those who have themselves had to learn to use prosthetic limbs. It will speak to anyone who has had to face a very difficult set of new circumstances.

It’s not surprising that Heidi has not only gained a loyal following on her Fancy Feet blog, but has also been booked as a motivational speaker at countless events. She shares her story, her darkest moments, and how she has embraced the role of survivor rather than victim through her rehabilitation, fighting for justice in the courts, and finding a new path in life.

We love that Heidi will speak to small church and community groups or before an audience of thousands, as she did at the International Association of Firefighters’ Biennial Convention where she shared the stage with others including Hillary Clinton.

As specialists in prosthetics for more than 45 years, all of us at Teter Orthotics and Prosthetics were deeply touched by Heidi’s story and her willingness to share how the power of love and courage have helped her. We know how difficult, but possible, it is to learn to walk again after sustaining a trauma – especially with the technological advances in prosthetics – and we hope that her story will inspire even more people.

Are you looking for specialized, caring support for prosthetic services? Contact our friendly staff at Teter Orthotics & Prosthetics. We are proud to offer more than 20 locations in Michigan and we accept a wide variety of health insurance plans. If needed, we can work out an extended payment plan to cover care.

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