Join us in celebrating the incredible accomplishments of SRT Hero, Sue Bradford of Carmel, Indiana!
How did your amputation occur?
My amputation occurred when I was cutting strips of wood for an art project with a table saw. On my left hand, I lost my baby finger, half of my ring finger, and all of my middle finger. My index finger was saved but badly damaged. Still working on making it functional, a seventh surgery is scheduled for the fall of this year.
Where do you work and what do you do?
I am a retired schoolteacher.
Out of all of your accomplishments, which are you most proud of and why?
My greatest accomplishments would be related to my career in teaching. I spent most of my career at the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired working with mult-ihandicapped young adults helping them become as independent as possible.
What hobbies or activities are you involved in? Why do you enjoy them?
My hobbies have always centered around the use of my hands; sewing, crocheting, cooking, gardening. I especially love to make delicate types of homemade pasta. I feel a lot less embarrassed in public now. I call it the super hand! It has helped me to do the things I did before the accident.
What has your experience been like with SRT?
Brooke O’Steen, OTR, from SRT has been very important in my ongoing rehabilitation. She comforted me when I was struggling to accept my injury. She reassured me that I would still be able to do all of the activities I could do before the injury. She centered most on the thing that meant so very much to me which was distributing communion at my church. Immediately after the accident I was sure I would never be able to do that again. Brooke encouraged me and assured me that my prosthesis would make that possible. When I put my prosthesis on for the first time, she handed me a dish similar to what I hold to distribute communion. Then she said, “I told you so.” She was right. I couldn’t have come this far without her! Trust SRT. They will be with you from the beginning and work to make you as whole again as possible. And though I was devastated after the accident the one thing I told myself was, “it could have been worse”. I think often of a young woman I read about who lost all four of her limbs. She has been so brave. How could I give up?
What would you like to say to a new amputee to encourage them?
Be patient with your recovery. It takes time, months sometimes or more. Don’t give up.
I would be remiss if I didn’t thank my husband who has been so supportive. Being rather independent, I wanted to be able to do tasks by myself. He would watch me try. When I couldn’t, he would quietly offer his help. He never rushed in and tried to take over. And all the trips to doctor appointments, therapy appointments, surgeries, lately because of COVID, he waited in hot and cold cars, and never once complained.