“Peer visits are indeed a very important program [of the Amputee Coalition]. … There was a man at Duke who had been an amputee for many years and was in the hospital due to heart problems. He was a BK like myself, but as I talked to him I discovered the real reason I was there. This gentleman was 95 years old. He was sitting in a chair when I arrived and was wearing his leg, waiting to go for some tests. I asked him how he was doing with the leg and he told me that he was doing great. He was able to walk and do anything he wanted to do. He told me if they could fix his heart that he would be "good to go." His story was precious. It didn't take me long to figure out that the actual peer visit was for me, not him. As a man 66 years old and being a fairly new amputee, I often wondered as I aged and if I was fortunate to live to a "ripe old age" like this man of 95 years, how would I be doing with my new leg? This visit answered my questions. … He will never know how much my visit with him meant to me!
Anyone going through amputation deserves to be visited by someone ‘ahead of them’ in this journey. It indeed gives them hope and encouragement and the opportunity to ask questions they usually don't ask of the hospital support teams. I am blessed to have the opportunity to visit patients that I am "ahead of" who are going through amputation. I am really blessed to have had the opportunity to visit this 95-year-old gentleman who is "ahead of" me!” ~ Ronnie, Amputee Coalition-Certified Peer Visitor