A Texas-based, nonprofit support group for individuals with limb loss and limb difference, Houston Amputee Society (H.A.S.), has announced that it will be reaching out to a national audience as the American Amputee Society (A.A.S.). In addition to being a support group, A.A.S. is a social network, with events created “to encourage amputees to have fun and try new things together,” according to an H.A.S./A.A.S press release.
H.A.S. was founded by Jeff Bourns in 2013. Bourns was born with a congenital anomaly in which he was missing his right tibia and underwent a transtibial amputation. When he was seven years old, physicians determined he would need to undergo a transfemoral amputation. One year later, a tumor was discovered tethering his spinal cord. The surgery untethered the spinal cord, but left him with nerve damage, a neurogenic bladder, and spinal meningitis.
While in his mid-20s he began experiencing new medical challenges, and created H.A.S. to reach out to other Houston-area individuals with amputations. Given the organization’s growth, Bourn has decided to expand it nationally.