CHICAGO — Travis Roy, a quadriplegic who became paralyzed from the neck down due to a hockey injury, addressed attendees at the opening ceremony of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium, both to tell his story, and to thank them.
Roy was a promising hockey player for Boston University with dreams of reaching the National Hockey League when, in 1995, just 11 seconds into his first appearance on the ice during his freshman season, an injury drove him into the boards and cracked his fourth vertebra. He said what followed was years of work and a readjustment of his goals.
“I came up with new goals,” Roy said, here. “I set my sights on just trying to get through therapy. I decided to go back to school and finish what I started. I would be independent. Mostly, I just wanted to make a living, to have a life. Just as I had done with my hockey goals during my freshman year in high school, I had to start with the small things. One of the first was just learning how to feed myself.”
Roy also thanked O&P professionals for their work in the field.
“I just want to take a moment to thank you for the services you provide and for the designs and new technology for the patients, to help make the lives of people like myself a little bit better and a little more independent,” he said.
During the opening ceremony, Richard W. Miller, CO, FAAOP, president of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (AAOP), addressed the attendees and listed the O&P profession, along with his wife Joan and Chicago blues, among his life’s “three loves.”
“My hope is that you all continue to be blessed with the loves of your life, and especially for the love of our profession of orthotics and prosthetics,” he said.
The opening ceremony also honored recipients of this year’s AAOP awards. Frank H. Bostock, MBA, CO, FAAOP, received the Titus-Ferguson Award; Ann Yamane, MEd, CO/LO, received the Distinguished Practitioner Award; and Jonathan Naft, CPO, LPO, received the Tamarack Award.
Other award winners at this year’s AAOP meeting include: Michelle J. Hall, MS, CPO, FAAOP(D), who received the Clinical Commitment Award and John M. Migeulez, CP, FAAOP(D), who received the Clinical Creativity Award. Award recipients also include Glen Klute, PhD, who received the Research Award; Joshua B. Utay, MEd, CPO, LPO, who received Outstanding Educator Award; Jan Brunstrom-Hernandez, MD, who received the Mohammed Amin Award for Humanitarian Service; and Bruce “Mac” McClellan, CPO/L, FISPO, FAAOP(D), Michael J. Allen, CPO, FAAOP, and Phil M. Stevens, MEd, CPO, FAAOP, who received the Champion of the Profession Award. Honorary Membership was given to Robert Benedetti, MBA, and Joyce J. Perrone.
Miller RW. Keynote presentation and annual meeting opening session. Presented at: American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium; March 1-4, 2017; Chicago.
Disclosures: Miller and Roy report no relevant financial disclosures.