VA North Texas brings mobility, freedom to amputee Veterans


shadow
IMAGE of U.S. Army Veteran David Janke

U.S. Army Veteran David Janke.

David Janke likes to wear comfortable shorts around VA North Texas Healthcare Systems’ Dallas campus proudly showing off his colorful stars and stripes.

Janke typically takes the same familiar route to his trusted second floor Amputation Specialty Clinic. Although a frequent clinic visitor, this trip has a different focus in mind—getting fitted for a hinged-foot prosthesis. Or two.

David Janke spent 18 years in uniform with the U.S. Army. He is a bilateral amputee who’s been coming to VA since 2007 when he had both legs amputated below the knee. His colorful stars and stripes are not the result of a trip to a tattoo studio, but instead, are durable vinyl wraps displaying his steadfast love of patriotism and personal freedom.

Janke’s visit to secure an amputee mobility predictor assessment is possible because of VA North Texas’ capabilities as one of just 18 Level II Polytrauma Amputation Network sites certified to provide specialized care to Veterans with limb loss, in all of VA.

Janke is one of 70 Veterans who will visit the Amputation Specialty Clinic team over one of four service days this month. The team consists of an amputee medical director, a coordinator, a certified prosthetist, physical therapists and occupational therapists.

“The team works closely together to address any issues the amputee Veteran may have and provide regular follow-up care,” said Karen Schwarm, polytrauma physical therapist and team member.

Among those Veterans living with limb loss, the main causes are vascular disease, including diabetes and peripheral arterial disease, trauma and rarely, cancer. Approximately 185,000 amputations occur in the United States each year with many of those patients at risk for further limb loss.

For Janke, this visit is a way forward to a new prosthesis, enabling easier moves around his property, walks on more rugged terrain, and managing stairs more easily. He met with a physical therapist and performed a functional evaluation to see what level of activity he could tolerate before meeting with the specialty team.

“I wouldn’t go anywhere else for my care,” said Janke. “The VA does a really good job and the staff goes out of their way to help me with anything I need.”

U.S. Army Veteran David Janke talks with members of the Amputation Specialty Clinic team at VA North Texas

U.S. Army Veteran David Janke talks with members of the Amputation Specialty Clinic team at VA North Texas. Dallas VA Medical Center is one of 18 Level ll Polytrauma Amputation Network Sites within the VA to provide specialized care to our Veterans with limb loss.

 


About the Author: Jennifer Roy is a public affairs specialist for VA North Texas Health Care System. She is a retired USN Chief Petty Officer, public affairs manager and award-winning photojournalist.


Author

VAntagePoint Contributor

— VAntage Point Contributors provide insight and perspective on a wide range of Veterans issues. If you’d like to contribute a story to VAntage Point, learn how you can submit a guest blog at http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/how-to-submit-a-guest-post/

Comments

  1. Antonio H Padilla    

    To the men and women within the VA taking care of my fellow Veterans and specifically, in this instance, to those taking care of U. S. Army Veteran David Janke, Great Job! Best Regards, Antonio H. Padilla, a.k.a. Tony, Cpl E-4, USMC, Vietnam Veteran. I recently contracted cancer and the Dayton, Ohio VA, is weighing in and has agreed to provide medical support in conjunction with my private sector doctors. Just when you’re comfortable with the premise that all the VA is good for is saying no when navigating through the disability approval process, and you’re coming closer to personally meeting our savior, you realize that the VA has some really great people providing excellent support to us Veterans. Again, Great Job, Go VA!

    With The Greatest Respect, Tony Padilla, USMC Devil Dog

  2. James Tobleck    

    After getting blood poisoning from a rotten tooth that the VA still hasnt paid me for the dentist bill no ones even told me the test results if the infection is gone or just lowered like so many times before. This has gone on for 4 years ! You keep promoting the nonpreforming people that your own staff thought gave me a heart attack. Ive called the IG so many times yet never getting a call back. I ask you when is Washington going to call me? 22 die a day and you dont ask why. I suggest you get off your ass and look to Battle Creek VA home of decades worth of malfeasance, malpractice in my case.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *