By Jim Benemann
WINDSOR, Colo. (CBS4)– Joe Johnson was 12 years old when he lost his leg in a motorcycle accident. He recalls his first prosthetic was made of wood and made it impossible for him to continue to pursue his passion for skiing and other outdoor activities.
It never fit properly and left him with blisters and sores by the end of the day. Still, he enjoyed his time with the Children’s Hospital recreational ski program and even went on to compete in the Paralympic Games. But now his passion is helping others who need a prosthesis pursue their passions.
“It’s something that’s always driven me. I owe it to our patients to have the best technology and always try to improve it the best I can,” said Joe.
And that’s what drives Joe and his team every day at Quorum Prosthetics in Windsor. Joe opened the shop 20 years ago and the mission has always been to get patients into the best-fitting prosthetics possible.
Jason Hanford lost his leg to cancer as a child. He admits to having his own pity party for about a year before telling himself it was time to get moving. He and Joe became pals through the Children’s Hospital program, and years later, when Quorum opened up, Jason showed up to take advantage of the new technologies that were constantly being created.
“The first thing they ask you is what do you enjoy doing. And your answer becomes their goal. They own it. And when you back to doing the activities that are truly at your core and bring you joy that’s when the healing starts,” said Jason.
These days much of that healing comes thanks to a relatively new device called the Quatro Socket.
Prosthetics users will tell you their stump often gets larger and smaller while they sleep, and also as they get through the day. The Quatro surrounds the stump and connects to the prosthetic knee joint. It’s beauty and functionality stem from the fact it has four adjustable side panels that, with just a couple clicks, can make sure the user enjoys comfortable fit all day and through the night.
Rustin Hughes walked in the door at Quorum about four years ago. He’s a veteran who lost his leg to a blood clot after his service. The Quatro Socket has been a godsend.
Rustin is highly competitive and athletic. The adjustable fit on his socket lets him box. And now, as he gets sweaty in the later rounds, he can take off the socket, dry himself off and then pop it right back on. A couple clicks later and he’s back in the middle of the ring.
“The new socket lets me do all the cardio stuff I need to do to stay in shape for my sports; I have to have a good leg. When I get into the later rounds in a match I’m reminded just how amazing the technology is,” said Rustin.
As an athlete himself, Joe Johnson takes the role of Quorum Prosthetics in people’s lives very seriously. His staff is constantly trying to improve their products because they know their patients are determined to live life to its fullest.
Jim Benemann is a longtime anchor at CBS4. He’s coming up on 40 years in the TV news business and loves reporting on the stories Coloradans are talking about. Send him your story ideas and follow Jim on Twitter @jimbcbs4.