ExoSym Patient Spotlight: Bub

Today, I’d like you to meet Bub, an inspiring ExoSym (IDEO) patient from Vermont. Twenty five years ago, Bub fell from a second story apartment window ledge, landing feet first on the sidewalk below. The impact fractured both of Bub’s tibia bones from the ankle joint up, requiring twelve screws and four inch plates to put his ankles back together. After the fall, it took Bub close to a year to learn to walk again and even at that he still struggled with daily pain, limiting his ability to be mobile. Years of prescription use and enduring pain drained Bub and it ultimately became hard to stay positive and motivated through the agony and limitations. However, Bub never gave up. Despite the hard times that came with the injury, Bub remained hopeful that one day he would walk again without pain. ♥

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One morning, while surfing the web, Bub came across an article about a wounded warrior with the ExoSym (IDEO) device. At the time, the device was only available to service members, so Bub set-up a Google Alert to keep looking for more information to come. A few months passed as more articles surfaced and Bub eventually ended up contacting the Hanger Clinic once he learned the device was available to civilians. Bub admits he felt pretty sure the device would be a good fit for him and he decided to make the cross country trip to Gig Harbor, WA to check it out. (& thank goodness he did!). With a great experience in the test device, Bub had the confidence to move forward in pursuing the ExoSym, a decision that changed his life.

Within hours of receiving the device, Bub was able to take off on a jog – something he hadn’t been able to do in 25 years. Bub has had his bilateral ExoSym’s for about a year now and the results have been outstanding. Not only does Bub feel so much more free and light about life, but he is finally able to do the things he wants to do. On a daily basis, you can find Bub trekking a 5K loop around his neighborhood or hiking in the mountains near his hometown. While it’s taken about six months to get where he wants to be, Bub feels his overall strength at a level it hasn’t been in as long as he can remember. Not only does he feel more confident in doing work or activities that require endurance, but he says it’s really nice to feel like his physical limits are not a deciding factor anymore. 25 years of limitations have been lifted and there is no stopping this guy! Over the last year, Bub’s had some great moments in the device, but says one of the best days was the first time he walked five miles. #simplyamazing  Another great moment was being able to take his son on a Boy Scout Trip to the Florida Keys – trekking trails around the islands, fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling – all things Bub simply wouldn’t have been able to achieve without the ExoSym device.

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Bub’s advice for other patients is to listen to your body, just as you would before regarding your injury or affliction, you have to be conscious about how you push yourself. Of course you will want to push and excel when you have a newfound ability, but Bub’s recommendation is to be smart about how you push yourself once you have the opportunity to do so. Wise advice for all, Bub! In terms of men’s fashion, Bub has found that with casual pants, the most important thing to watch out for is making sure the pant leg is big enough around the knee. If it’s too tight around the knee, the pants can ride up and you’ll end up looking like you’re expecting a flood. ☺ Bub’s athletic shoe of choice is the New Balance 860 and for hiking he prefers the Merrill Moab Rover Mid. He likes the brass eyelet lacing system and the leather construction and says they have worked out great for him. Bub sports the 2XU brand for compression socks, something he says has really helped a lot with swelling and nerve pain. When he’s going to spend a lot of time on his feet, he also adds a low profile sock over the compression sock to add a little more padding.

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Most importantly, Bub would like to express how grateful he is to the service members who went before him and helped to make the ExoSym (IDEO) device possible and a special thanks to Ryan Blanck for the development of this device and the implementation of the training and recovery process. A truly amazing man who has made a difference in so many people’s lives. Bub would also like to give his thanks to the IDEO / ExoSym online community. This group has been a great help to Bub in the early days and he sincerely appreciates the ongoing encouragement all have provided. ♥

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So what’s next for Bub? The sky is the limit for this guy. In addition to keeping up with regular walking and hiking, Bub hopes to get into CrossFit or a more formalized strength training program. Whatever he’s doing, you can be sure Bub will be continuing to encourage others who are new to the community. It’s who he is and it’s his mission to keep ‘paying it forward’. A truly incredible guy whose story reminds us that even through the darkest of times in your life, when you don’t feel like you can go on another day, you must keep your head up and press on. Hold onto hope. Fight for your life. Never give up.

Thank you, Bub. You are an inspiration and the definition of what it means to persevere.

#beYOU #beAMAZING #ExoSymplyAmazing

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