A few members of the Swiftwick team recently visited amputee veterans at Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) in Bethesda, MD. Myself, ex-NFL wide receiver, Derrick Mason and CFO of Swiftwick, Jay Chawan met with amputees going through rehab and introduced our new line of amputee liner socks, called the Valor, to the amputees and their prosthetists.
One soldier from our hometown, Brentwood, TN, we got to know well was US Army Spc. Andrew Wilson. Andrew lost both of his legs, one below the knee and one above the knee, while on patrol in Afghanistan in October 2011. Ten months after an explosion took his legs and coincidentally the day we visited him, he had regained the ability to lightly jog on his brand new running legs for the first time.
As a below knee amputee myself, I can remember the first time I picked up the pace from simply walking to jogging for the first time. You feel such a sense of accomplishment and freedom. I could see that joy in Andrew’s eyes when we first met him and his father. It was cool to see.
Following lunch with Spc. Wilson and his dad, we made our way up to the floor where all the prosthetics are made for all the wounded warriors receiving care at Walter Reed. We presented our new Valor amputee liner sock to the prosthetists on staff and had an opportunity to leave them with a handful of samples to try out on patients. The staff was pumped to talk with Derrick Mason! Derrick played several seasons as wide-receiver for the Baltimore Ravens, so he still had a big fan base in the Washington DC area that enjoyed getting to talk with him.
Next, we made our way to the physical therapy area of WRAMC. We were blown away with the resiliency, unity and camaraderie of all the amputees putting in grueling hours of various types of therapies and prosthetic fitting sessions. Essentially it is their full time job to rehab and get back to the best quality of life possible given their unique injuries and abilities. While walking around talking to the guys, I asked every single amputee I met a question I already knew the answer to, I asked them if they struggle with sweat inside their prosthetic limbs. As expected, every single one of them said that they did. I told them of the new Valor liner sock, let them try one on and ultimately ran out of samples just as it was time for us to head back to the airport.
Although our trip was short, it was extremely worthwhile. Just a few days following our visit we received a call from the prosthetics department expressing interest in offering the Valor sock to all amputee patients who receive care at Walter Reed.
The Valor amputee sock will be available for purchase at www.swiftwick.com by the end of September.