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Mike Pumphrey

Mike PumphreyNew and Long Journey

My name is Mike Pumphrey. I had a below-knee amputation in December 2017, due to a bad infection in my left foot resulting from diabetes. I was released (thrown out) from the hospital four days later with no help such as crutches, walker or wheelchair. Nothing from the hospital in New Jersey. I won’t give the name to avoid embarrassment to them. When I got my daughter to pick me up to take me home, my wife and other daughter were there to help, but I had to crawl out of the car up the steps across the floor and pull myself up onto the couch.

Did I mention that I’m 57, retired and on disability? All due to the fact that I had no insurance and was five weeks away from receiving Medicare on February 1. Talk about depression … ugh. This really started out terribly for me. I didn’t even receive any instructions for post-op. I came to find out the surgeon was the best. He did such a beautiful job that the prosthetist took a picture of the residual limb and said he was going to show other surgeons that this is how it’s done, ha ha. The O&P company that I used, which the surgeon contacted for me, also did a beautiful job, with minimal to no problems so far.

And then, by accident, I found the Amputee Coalition. They have been a blessing. I learned from the information package that they sent me that every step was not a surprise, how to take care of myself, and what and what not to do. They connected me with a peer visitor right away and helped with every question I had. I enjoyed the inMotion magazine so much; they even sent back issues. Thank you again. I will always be grateful to them, and wish to volunteer in any shape or form and hopefully become a peer visitor some day.

So, right before everything started to go well, I received my Medicare and thought I’d pick up an AARP Medicare Supplement insurance plan from UnitedHealthcare, when they actually sold me a Part C, which really messed me up and almost terminated the prosthesis process. Thankfully, the O&P company worked with me. If you think I didn’t understand, I’ll put it to you this way: The O&P company said this was the sixth time this has happened to other customers since January. (You do the math. Right.) While I’m still trying to straighten it out, I would love to thank Dr. Samra and Manfredi O&P, and I am very grateful to the Amputee Coalition helping me so that my journey may be as great as all of the ones I have read about. Thanks for listening. I will always be a part of the limb loss community. Thank you, Amputee Coalition.