When Barb lost her leg in 2016, her life was forever changed. The support she received from the Glenrose not only helped her regain her independence but gave her a renewed purpose and opportunity to give back to patients facing challenges similar to herself.
Barb and her dog Ziggy were the most recent recipients of the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, “Volunteer of the Year Award”. Every Tuesday, Barb and Ziggy visit patients in the Glenrose’s adult amputation in-patient unit to give them the opportunity to disconnect and recharge through the power of pet therapy.
Barb knows all too well the healing power of animals, as she was once a patient on this same unit
In 2016, Barb suffered an accident which resulted in her losing her right leg.
Following her accident, Barb spent many weeks at the hospital, first learning to rebuild her upper body strength to transfer in-and-out of a wheelchair, and later to be fitted with a prothesis followed by in-patient therapy to gain back her mobility. In addition to the many challenges inherent with relearning how to walk, the prothesis itself causes patients pain, discomfort, and often, skin sores.
That’s why when a clinical trial for a procedure called osseointegration became available, Barb applied, and was thrilled to be accepted. The procedure, which greatly reduces the discomfort felt by patients, places a metal implant right into the bone of an amputated leg; the prosthesis is then directly attached to the metal.
Following the surgery, Barb returned to the Glenrose for further rehabilitation focusing on muscle movement and stride, and today – thanks to her comprehensive team of health care professionals – she has regained her independence to walk.
She and Ziggy continue to visit patients in the same unit where she once was. In sharing her story and time with Ziggy, Barb hopes to inspire patients like herself to find their own courage as they walk their personal rehabilitation journey.