Friday, May 17, 2024

Joint effort to develop prosthetic appliance for polio induced walking

John E. Gough

I am Jean Gough. Fifty years ago I had polio at one year of age. I am searching for “partners with expertise” to work with me, to develop a
prosthetic appliance to assist my most polio damaged leg, so I can
continue walking.

I want to try applying the concepts, techniques, and equipment of artificial legs to my leg which had polio.

MY GOAL IS TO “ENHANCE” THE LEG FUNCTION I HAVE, AND/OR PROVIDE FUNCTION I DO NOT HAVE. (I do not want to lose any function I presently have, or allow additional
atrophy.)

I presently walk without any appliance. Walking is becoming increasingly hazardous. I have already tried several ways to “improve” my walking. So far all medical recommendations and support group suggestions have been unsatisfactory. I have done all I know to minimize obstacles to walking. Each floor of my specially built home is barrier free. The floor plan minimizes steps. I have used a stair chair for 30 years to change floors. I drive a van which is easier ingress/egress than a car.

I desire to “blend and balance” the brace, artificial leg, and my body parts for improved walking function (and ultimately, improved quality of life). This includes reducing pain and reducing medical treatment from falls. (I recently broke my femur from a polio caused fall. A pediatric rod was surgically inserted inside the femur.)

I believe achieving my goal will require “outside the box thinking.” Braces I have tried, DO NOT “enhance” function. They immobilize, resulting in reduced function. However, some of the properties of braces are part of an idea I want to develop. Artificial legs (prosthetic appliance) appear to provide function, but I have not seen an adaptation to “enhance” existing flesh and bone. Adaptation seems practical.

I suspect achieving my goal will require some research and experimentation. I will apply myself to the limit of my endurance and resources. My husband and I work as a team. He supports me, and will work obsessively toward this goal. He has conceived an idea I want to try. He can “brainstorm” ideas and then find a way to make them work. He “sees” applications for me, in ways others have not. I appreciate his “can do” style.

I have no encumbrances to limit pursuing my goal. I do not have a job. My three wonderful, healthy, grown children care for themselves, and support me pursuing this goal. My extended family is supporting me, and praying with me.

I want to work with someone who is willing to try something “different.”

I WILL NOT GIVE UP. There is a way to develop a “quality assist” for my walking. I am open to consider anything. I will reconsider anything previously found unsatisfactory.

The first step toward my goal is talking. Will you talk with me?

If you are aware of others whom you believe can assist to achieve this goal, please include them in any discussion, or direct me to them.

Attached is a brief version of my medical history. Other than polio, I have excellent health. I am experiencing post polio syndrome, but I have an optimistic outlook.

Thank You for taking the time to consider working with me.

Jean Gough
P.O. Box 8606
Topeka, Kansas 66608-0606
1-785-986-9291 home
1-785-248-3157 cell phone
[email protected]

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