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Support group connects those living without limbs

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Friday, October 14, 2005

Support group connects those living without limbs

By Kathy Norton

Poughkeepsie Journal

When a person goes through an amputation, they need help and understanding from their relatives, and from people outside the family circle as well.

The Poughkeepsie Amputee Support Group was founded for that reason, members said. But it's also a social group that plans events like golf outings.

Their aim is not to "sit around and sing the blues, but to get together and empower each other," said John Vacca of Poughkeepsie, a regional representative of the Amputee Coalition of America.

Some members are born with limb deficiencies, while others have lost limbs in accidents or through diseases like diabetes.

Carlos Vega of Poughkeepsie has attended the group, but also gets support from his boss, Paul Crittenden, who owns Aladdin Tent Rentals in Staatsburg.

Vega, a Mexican native, lost his foot and the bottom of the same leg on Oct. 20, 2004, after a car accident. He wears a prosthesis and is a foreman at Crittenden's business.

When Crittenden got to the hospital the day of the accident, he realized there was a language gap between Vega's family and the hospital staff.

Crittenden himself had just only started learning Spanish, so he called his Spanish professor, who came and helped the family understand the details of Vega's medical condition.

Crittenden also helped Vega through the difficult task of getting a proper fit for his prosthesis. Now that Vega's back on the job, they evaluate tasks to see what the foreman can and can't do.

Setting up and dismantling tents and party equipment is physically demanding, but there isn't much Vega hasn't been able to handle.

There are adjustments for families as well. Vega said his 5-year-old son Eduardo was scared of the hospital at first, and what was happening to his dad, but now he calls his father "Robo Cop."

As the one-year anniversary of his accident approaches next week, Vega's attitude about what happened is simple:

"It could have been much worse," he said.

Kathleen Norton can be reached at knorton@poughkeepsiejournal.com

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Johnny,

You must be proud to say that you're a member of that support group!

Wish we had one over here, but until we do, this forum will have to do. ;)

Thanks for posting about it. :)

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Wish we had one over here

Ditto that for South Africa Afet.

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Hey Johnny,

This is a story woth crowing about, good job poukeepsie group and Johnny!

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Guest bearlover

I live in Albany NY and can not find any close support groups :angry: This fourm is the only source of support I have. It is great meeting other amps. Who can relate to me. And making new friends :)

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I live in Albany NY and can not find any close support groups :huh: This fourm is the only source of support I have. It is great meeting other amps. Who can relate to me. And making new friends :)

I have a support group in Poughkeepsie NY that meets once a month but that is about 80 mile from Albany. There was an amputee support group up in the Albany area last I knew at a Rehab hospital. Call the ACA at 888-267-5669 and they will be able to hook you up with them. I hope that I have helped. Keep me posted.

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I live in Albany NY and can not find any close support groups :blink: This fourm is the only source of support I have. It is great meeting other amps. Who can relate to me. And making new friends :)

I, too, searched for a support group. Couldn/t find one so I am in the process of starting one. I am going to the convention and am taking the day long seminar on support group leadership.

JudyH

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Guest bearlover

Thanks Johnny! We use to live in Rockland County, But that was before my amputation, Also thanks for all your great work, for us amps! :)

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Guest bearlover

So far this is the only support group I can find! It has been great. :)

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