“I didn’t think I would be able to overcome the many challenges I faced, but everyone was so caring and supportive. They made me understand that although I lost my leg, I’m still the same person.”
Remaining the same person
Weimar Martinez loves soccer and salsa dancing, but both became difficult when he developed vascular claudication, a rare, painful disorder that affects blood circulation in the legs.
One day, Weimar’s left leg turned blue and cold to the touch. He was admitted to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center and procedures were performed to remove blockages in his arteries. Forty-eight hours later, Weimar’s leg began to swell due to acute compartment syndrome, a dangerous buildup of pressure that disrupts blood flow to the muscles and nerves. He underwent emergency surgery; however, the symptoms returned and Weimar was faced with a difficult decision.
“I was in so much pain and so very frightened. I felt I had only one choice if I wanted to live and be here for my wife and my children. And that was to have my leg amputated.”
Following extensive surgery to remove his leg above the knee, Weimar struggled with phantom limb pain and was frustrated by the healing process. The amputee rehabilitation specialists at Kessler helped guide him through recovery. They provided the care and training to manage his residual limb, regain his strength and balance and use an advanced computerized prosthesis, custom-fitted to his needs. He also learned strategies to help manage pain, build endurance and adapt to life ahead.Weimar, whose primary language is Spanish, communicated with his treatment team with the help of his family and Kessler’s certified interpreters. “I didn’t think I would be able to overcome the many challenges I faced, but everyone was so caring and supportive, he said. “They made me understand that although I lost my leg, I’m still the same person.”
When asked what he would tell others facing similar challenges, he advised, “Concéntrese en todo lo que tiene, no en lo que ha perdido” – “Focus on all that you have, not what you’ve lost.”