AMBUCS gives Soldier therapy trike
October 28, 2010
Maj. Jon Craig was running when his right foot became numb and fell "asleep." This was very unusual for Craig, who led an active lifestyle, so he had the problem checked out.
A series of medical tests revealed that more than 18 inches of his femoral artery had collapsed and extensive permanent damage had occurred in his leg. His long term diagnoses was that his right leg would have to be amputated.
Craig, 33, Fires Center of Excellence G-3/5/7 (operations, planning, training) deputy of current operations, wanted to continue to exercise, but he was no longer able to run or walk during physical training. To maintain his fitness, Craig incorporated upper body workouts, including swimming, but he wanted to do more so he sought the assistance of AMBUCS.
The Lawton Chapter of AMBUCS donated a hand-powered, adult therapy tricycle to Craig Oct. 21, during a luncheon in Lawton.
The Am Tryke will help him continue his Army career, maintain his fitness, and to go cycling with his two daughters, ages 13 and 17, Craig said.
"I'm overwhelmed by the graciousness of AMBUCS," the field artillery officer said. "I know there is no way I can say 'thank you' enough times, so my wife, Lori, and I are going to become AMBUCS members and get involved with their national mission."
Craig applied to AMBUCS for the therapy tricycle and had to have the medical recommendation from a therapist.
National AMBUCS is a non-profit service organization with about 5,000 members. Its mission is to provide independence and mobility to children and adults with disabilities through the use of therapeutic bicycles, tricycles and other aids, said Michael Speakmon, AMBUCS District 5A governor.
When Craig was re-evaluating his fitness options, he consulted Speakmon, a former co-worker, because he knew of his involvement with AMBUCS.
Speakmon and Craig assembled the AmTryke HP 1000 -- a steel-frame, seven-speed recumbent model, which features a rear-disk brake and top quality components. It's valued at more than $1,100.
"I'm having to teach myself how to ride a bike again because you're pedaling and steering with your arms at the same time," he said. "It's pretty sturdy; I was able to get over some of the smaller hills on post." Craig said he plans to go on rides with AMBUCS and to get involved with national hand-bike groups.
Doctors are not sure what caused the Craig's leg injury because there was no disease or illness.
"I haven't been in a car accident, and I wasn't injured in combat," said Craig, a 1999 graduate of The Citadel.
That's been the most frustrating part to the medical staffs at Comanche County Memorial Hospital and Reynolds Army Community Hospital because they can't put their medical thumbs on the cause, he said.
Craig only gets 10- to 15-percent blood delivery in his right leg and can continuously walk only about one-eighth of a mile. He has chosen to have his leg amputated before it causes him further medical problems. His physicians are still considering when to do the procedure and how much of his leg must be removed.
Craig will go before a one-day medical board at Fort Sill in November. "Right now the prognosis is that the Army will find somewhere for me to continue my career," he said.
Craig has already taken the AmTryke out for a spin.