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Lauren Newton Connor

Every Amputee Deserves a Peer Visit

Hello everybody, my name is Laura Newton Carter. I am a bilateral amputee. April is Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month. In 2007, I was riding my motorcycle on vacation and I was hit by a car. My left leg was amputated immediately after the accident and my right leg was able to be saved through dozens of surgeries called limb salvage surgeries. So, from 2007 to 2019 I had dozens and dozens of surgeries, limb salvage, ankle fusion, external fixators limb, lengthening muscle flaps, we tried everything, but I was never able to get out of pain. So, in 2019 I elected to amputate my right leg below the knee. It wasn’t an easy decision, but I have to say for myself it was the best decision because today I am absolutely pain-free, which is amazing. In 2022 I had Osseo integration surgery on my left AK side and today I walk without a socket which is amazing. I have an amazing life today and I want to say that because I did not think it was possible.

The Amputee Coalition is such a wonderful organization. I am a certified peer visitor, I am a certified lead Advocate, and I am also a certified support group leader. In the beginning, after my accident my phone rang one day and it was a woman this woman, Sherry Caragana, and she said that she heard about my accident, she was an amputee and she wanted to know if I wanted to meet her. Now the doctors told me that I would be able to get a prosthetic once my leg healed and that I would be able to walk again, but I really had no idea what they were talking about. I had never met an amputee. So, I was so excited to meet this woman, and when she came into my home, she walked into my living room, and she had a smile on her face and she was wearing a prosthetic leg. That’s when I knew that I was going to be okay.

Peer visits are so important. This was not an official peer visit through the Amputee Coalition she had just heard about me through the neighborhood, but it was a life-changing experience for me. That’s why I decided to become a peer visitor, it is so important for every amputee to have that peer visit. When I meet an amputee, the first question I asked them was “Have you heard about the Amputee Coalition?” It’s an amazing organization. I’ve been able to attend many national conferences and I’m looking forward to the one this year in August. Looking forward to going, so please spread the word amputees! We are a great bunch of people that have great lives, as I said before, I have a wonderful life and I say that because I didn’t think that was going to be possible, but please help spread the word about the Amputee Coalition, and that April is Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month, no amputee should ever be alone and every amputee deserves a peer visit.

Thank you so much for your time everybody and hope you’re having a great day.