Friday, August 29, 2014

Jessie Irvin Gets New Legs!

This blog post came to us from Jessie Irvin. Jessie receives support services from Imagine! and is also a valued volunteer for our Dayspring department. Just a couple of weeks ago she got prosthetic legs, and offered to share her story with us. Thanks Jessie.

Jessie Irvin Gets New Legs 

Yes!  On August 14, 2014, I got my prosthetic legs. I was born without femurs, but I walked from the time I was three until I was 21. When I was two years old, they were going to do prosthetics for me, but they would have had to cut my feet off, and one my parents wasn’t sold on that idea. So, I had it in the back of my mind all my life that someday I may get prosthetics. The reason the doctors wanted to perform the surgery when I was two is because I was so young I wouldn’t have remembered the surgery and I would not have the phantom limb situation, but I think that now that my feet have stopped growing they don’t have to remove them for the prosthetics. It was recently that I decided to get them. I was tired of being short and not being able to reach things, like getting my own glass of water. 

The first time I had the prosthetics on, Texas, my cat, jetted away. But the next time I had them on, he used them as a scratching post, so he sure got accustomed to them quickly. 

I asked my doctor if I could roller blade, and he said as long as I’d done it before I could do it again. I told the doctor I’d been roller blading for as long as I can recall. My provider nearly hit the floor when she heard that one. She had no clue that I had roller bladed, so it was pretty funny. I grew up roller blading so it was no big deal to me. Although now that I think about it, I’m not sure if I want to attempt it, because it’s farther to fall if I’m using the prosthetic legs. 

I do want to learn to ride a bike however. I will need prosthetics that can bend at the knee for that though. They want me to get used to getting my balance first. Recently, when I was wearing my new legs, I was at the Dollar tree and when I came in I knocked over a pile of baskets. I’m still getting accustomed to having longer legs. I’m still learning how to navigate with them. Trying to open the door is a challenge, I’m just not used to my legs being that long. 

I am able to get in and out of bed with them, and I’m starting to be able to stand better on them. I can take about four or five steps, but my biggest fear in having the prosthetics is falling. It’s normal, people fall, but I have to learn to get back up without hurting myself. My arms are getting stronger because I have to hold myself up. I can’t rely on my back yet, for strength. 

Getting on and off the couch is getting better. I’m learning how to use a walker to some degree. 

I use a walker as I’m not quite ready for crutches yet. I will keep you updated on my progress. It is nice being able to get my own glass of water!


  1. This is great! :-)

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