Maggi Pivovar lost both her legs below-the-knee in April 2007 due to meningitis. Her first set of prostheses were uncomfortable and she spent most of her time in a wheelchair. Maggi’s determination to get out of that wheelchair and live an active life is what brought her to POA. Following is Maggi’s testimony, in her own words:
“Coming to POA has been the first step in getting my life back, and an answer to prayer. After becoming a bilateral BK at age 36, I seriously questioned how I could still be a successful mother to four boys and wife to my husband, John, since I spent nearly all of my time in a wheelchair. I had prostheses made by another company, but three months after being fitted they had become so uncomfortable I could barely wear them. I fought blisters, skin breakdown and infections regularly, partly because of the system, and partly from a poorly shaped residual limb on one side.
A week after I arrived at POA, the future became much more clear. I will never forget the tears and the joy I felt when I took off walking down the hallway and then outside the doors without any assistive device. I knew I had come to the right place. The fit was 100% custom, starting with the liners. The feet they chose for me and the alignment process gave me incredible balance and comfort.
Since then, my ability to manage my busy household has drastically improved. I wear my legs 14-16 hours a day, and am on my feet most of that time running errands, cooking, working in my yard, throwing pitches, and juggling everyone’s schedules. My wheelchair sits in the corner and collects dust. I have had no skin problems at all on my right leg in 1-1/2 years, and since undergoing revision surgery on my left leg, it is good, too. POA taught me a great deal about how to ask the right questions and to problem solve when my legs don’t feel quite right, which helps me keep my skin healthy and intact.
I live half-way across the country from POA, and without a doubt, the staff is always available to help me. Traveling there has been such a blessing. I am confident I will continue to improve and live life with very few limitations because their staff has shown me how committed they are to getting me back to my busy lifestyle, which goes way beyond simply walking. My husband and kids know that without POA, we would be in a very different place.
Quite a few people have told me that I walk so well that when I’m wearing pants they cannot even tell I am an amputee. I give all of the credit to the POA staff.
When people ask me why I travel all the way to Orlando for prostheses instead of getting them here in KC, I usually say that it’s the difference between driving a Yugo and a Cadillac, and I’d much rather drive a Cadillac.”