Fred Pridgen of Greenfield, Indiana, is one of the most devoted and seasoned patient models on our team, providing education to countless physical and occupational therapists and students. The SRT family is proud to share his 5 year journey living with limb loss.
On November 25th, 2015, Fred was working in the field cutting down dead ash trees. The tree split, kicked back and fell down on top of him, pinning his leg to the ground.
“I was able to reach my cell phone to call 9-1-1 and awaited the fire truck and responders to arrive”, Fred stated. “They used a wrecker to remove the 30-inch wide limb from my leg. An ambulance then took me to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis”.
After three attempts to save him limb, Fred’s physicians had to break the news to him that they would have to amputate his leg above the knee. Fred remembers telling them “if you can’t save the leg, please save the patient”. “I attended therapy at Community North Rehabilitation Hospital and went through a long period of healing time”, Fred continued. “It was almost a full year before I met John Arnold, my first prosthetist. John gave me a lot of hope. He was very caring. I enjoyed working with someone who knew what I was going through”.
When asked out of all of his accomplishments, which he was most proud of, he replied by stating, “I had the ‘ah-ha’ moment when I told myself to let go of the rails (parallel bars) and take a few steps, trusting the prosthesis”.
He continued by admitting, “For a while I felt like I wasn’t worth anything to anyone, but I quickly reminded myself that “that’s not me”. I made the right decision and it has been a very enjoyable past 5 years with a little thoughtfulness and assistance”.
Fred recently celebrated his 80th birthday with his wife, Beverly, with whom he lives on the same land in Greenfield, Indiana since 1966 surrounded by picturesque corn and soybean fields. Fred and Beverly have been married for 60 years and have 5 children, 11 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.
Fred is one of our most devoted patient models, providing countless hours of education physical and occupational therapists and students over the years. “I’m also learning while the students are learning. I’m always learning. I want to know what they are looking for and I want to improve”, stated Fred.
Fred concluded by addressing any fellow amputee by saying, “No matter what, don’t give up”.