National Non Profit Helps Amputees Get Badly Needed Artificial Limbs

Jun 20, 2018

This week on Dr. Greg Davis on Medicine the host talks with UK emergency department nurse Carson Swartz, who recently ran in the Boston Marathon to raise money for the non-profit group, 50 Legs, which provides prostheses to people who have lost limbs.

Carson Swartz, right, with Katie Eddington.
Credit UK HealthCare

From UK Now:

While dealing with anything from headaches to motorcycle accidents, Carson Swartz understands the importance of having a healthy way to relieve stress.

“Running is my outlet,” Swartz said.

Swartz, a graduate of the UK College of Nursing, works in the UK Emergency Department in the Level 1 trauma center. An accomplished distance runner, she said the Boston Marathon is “every runner’s dream.”

Swartz, along with a team of 20 other runners from across the country, is running to raise money for 50 Legs, a nonprofit that provides care and prosthetic devices to people who have lost limbs. The group works to bring hope to amputees, allowing children, adults and service members to lead active and productive lives.

“Prosthetic equipment, especially legs, costs a lot of money,” Swartz said.

It can also be difficult for runners who are amputees: Insurance plans often cover prosthetic legs, but not running blades. Costs can add up for young runners as they grow, because they need a different size prosthetic leg and running blade every two to three years. 50 Legs is an important charity because it “allows amputees to live a normal, healthy, positive life,” Swartz said.

“If I could bring normalcy back to one person who had lost a limb, I think it’s worth it to me,” Swartz said.

Swartz’s inspiration is a young runner named Katie Eddington, daughter of Swartz’s former clinical instructor Samantha Eddington. When Samantha Eddington reached out to Swartz about raising money, Swartz jumped at the opportunity.

“Being able to run for somebody and for a purpose is really special,” Swartz said. “For them to not be able to run and play breaks my heart because I know how active I was as a kid.”

Learn more about 50 Legs here: