The beginning of 2010 marked the 100th anniversary of Hedgecock Artificial Limb Company, Dallas, Texas. The company was established in 1910 by David E. Hedgecock, who lost a leg due to a railroad accident. According to the company, he founded the business hoping to advance prosthetic technology and spare future amputees the suffering and trauma he had experienced following his accident.
The business remains a locally owned and independent company that has provided O&P care in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, area and in Tyler, Texas, continuously for 100 years, with only three owners in its history. In 1972, David Hedgecock’s niece, Lucille Ramsey, who had been running the company since Hedgecock’s death, hired Jim Cicero, PT, to manage the company, with the agreement that he would later buy it. Upon completion of a “handshake deal,” according to Ann Cicero, the company’s current owner, Jim Cicero became the company’s third owner. He became a CP in 1978 and married Ann in 1987.
Under the Ciceros’ 26 years of ownership, Hedgecock has made a practice of giving back to the community, including by providing educational funding to individual prosthetics students. In 1965, Hedgecock was formally recognized for “exceptional services to amputees” by a State of Texas Concurrent Resolution, which is rarely awarded to for-profit groups. In October 2009, the Dallas Observer’s “Best Of Dallas” issue named Hedgecock “Best Arms And Legs.” The newspaper wrote, “There are other prosthetics stores in Dallas, but none have been around as long as Hedgecock, and there’s a reason for that. From its beginning in 1910, this locally owned company has made its focus patients, not profits. They know what it’s like to have to shop for a new foot or leg or arm. Several members of the staff have prosthetics themselves, so they understand the physical and psychological difficulties that go with losing a limb, and they will take the time to get things just right. Way to step up!” In 1990, Jim Cicero was named the Healthcare Professional of the Year by the Dallas mayor’s committee for the employment of people with disabilities. Jim Cicero passed away in November 1990.
“Hedgecock acts as a proponent of both prosthetic science and our patients by means of actively participating in professional, regulatory, academic, and research associations at national, state, and local levels,” Ann Cicero explained. “Hedgecock Artificial Limb dedicates the time and personal attention to making sure every patient is fitted with the prosthesis that serves the patient’s needs….”
Cicero celebrated the business’ anniversary with a dinner for more than 100 people at Dallas’ award-winning Adolphus Hotel.