Hanger Clinic helps those with limb loss in COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 has hit many groups hard that count on meeting in-person to build community. This includes people with limb loss.

"The hardest part for an amputee is overcoming the unknown," said Leslie Green, Hanger Clinic’s community care coordinator.

And now Green is helping people with limb loss navigate their way virtually.

"I’m a bilateral— that means I’ve lost both. Bilateral amputee below the knee amputee… Could I drive, could I work, what was it that lay ahead for me? And having navigated that well, and seeing people who hadn’t, I thought, I want to make a difference," Green told KSTP.

Green began with in-person community groups.

"I mean, think for a minute— the courage it takes to say you know I want someone to help me, and then to walk through that door and sit down in a chair, that’s a brave person who can do that," she said.

Not giving up, Green turned virtual. Since March, she’s added almost three times the number of community groups based on new COVID-19 related needs. More than 170 people are logging on with her, getting much-needed preoperative education. Green is hoping more surgeons, podiatrists and general practitioners will utilize her services through the Hanger Clinic.

?During the pandemic, Green has started offering women’s, men’s, mid-morning, pediatric and diabetes groups to her existing care partners group, and integrated group that offers a community for amputees, family and friends. They’re meeting weekly amid the coronavirus pandemic, instead of monthly.

Now, she’s getting requests for a trauma group.

"We are in this to empower, and it’s beyond the prosthetic and into the life," Green says.

Amping up her COVID-19 pandemic digital response, Green has now started a podcast and blog called ‘Daily Dose of Orange Juice.’

"You’re not alone, there is a community out there," Green said.

Next month the Hanger Clinic is hosting a virtual ‘Empowerfest’ that will connect people with shared experiences with limb loss.

You can learn more about Green’s community groups through the Hanger Clinic.