Charles leads a fast-paced life – almost as fast as he talks. He never seems to slow down and he certainly didn’t allow his amputation to slow him down. A Southwest Virginia native, he knows the value of hard work and owns his own business and even travels for it.
In 2017, Charles had to face amputation of his left leg below the knee due to complications from diabetes – a common reason for the amputees we treat. In December of 2017, he received surgery to remove a portion of his leg below the knee. After two to three months of healing, it was time to be fitted for a prosthetic. Richard Ruble, CPO was eager to help Charles get back to work.
“I came to Excel first and really got lucky. I knew Rich and he filled me in everything and made me feel better about the whole process,” says Charles. “They’re the only one I’ll ever use.”
Since receiving his prosthetic leg in March of 2018, he’s worked with Richard and the staff at Excel to truly embrace and adjust to the amputee lifestyle. It was such a good fit that the transition was smooth, but that didn’t stop Richard from continuing to check in.
“Richard calls me to check in and make sure everything is fitting alright,” says Charles. “He’s even met me out to fix my socket. A lot of people wouldn’t do that.”
Charles was no stranger to mobility problems before his amputation. After an ankle injury in high school from a motorcycle wreck, he had to wear an external fixator. It hurt every time he took a step. Now, he feels no pain. He almost wished he had gotten the amputation sooner!
His job requires him to climb a tall ladder to do maintenance on the canopies of gas stations. Most people would think amputation would slow him down, but he does his job with ease. With owning his own business, that was an important goal he was able to meet with his prosthetic from Excel. At home, he hasn’t slowed down either.
“I can shoot ball with my son, I can do everything I did before,” he says. “Hills are the only thing I can’t do and I didn’t really like to do those anyway.”
Charles has become somewhat of an ambassador for Excel Prosthetics because he had such a good experience. He talks about the time he was at a band competition for his child in Salem and saw a lady that was clearly in pain and limping because of fusion surgery. He made a point to stop and talk to her about the great professionals at Excel Prosthetics and to not be afraid of amputation.
“I told her you can still get around and live your life,” he says. “It’s the best thing I’ve ever done. I don’t have any more pain.”