Linthicum prosthetic company offers victims assistance

LINTHICUM, Md. - Tucked just off of the Baltimore Beltway in Linthicum in a nondescript building, a special company helps amputees rebuild their lives.

 
"This is a similar design.  It's a big carbon fiber spring essentially," explained Clinical Director Mark Hopkins as he held up an artificial leg, "That allows them to really propel themselves through space for the next step and it obviously doesn't look like a foot."
 
The company, called Dankmeyer Incorporated, is teaming with other prosthetic businesses to provide artificial limbs to those who lost theirs in the terrorist bombings in Boston.
 
"It's a life changing event obviously, and there's not just the limb loss itself, but there's also the shock and the psychological trauma of going through something like this," said Hopkins, "and the folks who've been through this, whether they've lost a limb or not, are going to need some help."
 
Insurance may cover some of the estimated 14 victims who lost limbs, but many of them may need different devices, whether it's to walk or to participate in sports, and the more advanced the mechanism, the more it can cost.
 
"This prostheses would be more along the lines of 60 or 70 thousand dollars and there are some more advanced prosthetic components out there that have motors and that would get you in maybe the six figures."
 
For Hopkins, the effort to help the victims could become a more personal one, since 29-year old Erika Brannock, a Towson preschool teacher, is one amputee he hopes to reach out to.
 
"I understand that she's unfortunately lost one of her legs.  I'm not sure of the level of amputation and I understand her other limb is injured as well.  We have a mutual friend---a local physical therapist who contacted me and asked if I'd be willing to work with her when she came back to town and of course we are."
 
The local company was founded by Charles "Herb" Dankmeyer back in the fifties.
 
He had lost both of his legs as an eight year old boy in Baltimore when a streetcar ran over him while he was roller skating.
 
 
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