Thursday, December 17, 2009


I hope everyone is ready, because it's time for Airborne Amputees 2010 skydive in Houston, TX sponsored by Amputees in Action! Be sure to mark your calendars for Saturday, April 17th, you don't want to miss out on this awesome event benefitting Limbs of Love! If you were not able to make it in years past, be sure to check out our website Airborne Amputees and view the video below.

2009 Airborne Amputees

For more information contact Margaret Bonham at or 713-669-1800

Monday, December 7, 2009

Limbs of Love Provides the Best Gift of All

The holiday season is a time for giving, and that is just what we are doing at TAPC through our charity, Limbs of Love.

Last week, Univision ran Part I of a two part series on Limbs of Love, starring three of our very own Limbs of Love recipients. These are three truly amazing people, who share with viewers why they are thankful this holiday season, despite the cards they have been dealt. For all of you who missed it (or would like to watch it again with English subtitles)….now’s your chance!

Segment I: Jorge Hernandez

Segment II: Alejandro Osorio & Victor Miramon

Segment III: The Prosthetic Fabrication Process, starring Rebeca Guajardo, Tony Caballero & the Prosthetic Fab Shop!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Restoring Hope Just in Time for the Holidays

Although they have three very different stories, amputees Alejandro Osorio, Jorge Hernandez and Victor Miramon have one thing in common: they all received new limbs, and a new lease on life, thanks to Limbs of Love.

Alejandro was the first recipient to arrive at the Amputee & Prosthetic Center, and was joined by friends and family who were anxious to see their loved one take the first steps on his new prosthetic leg. Throughout the Limbs of Love process, Alejandro has been very quite and reserved, but once Rebeca Guajardo put his new leg on him (fit by Ben Falls) and he began to walk, his face brightened and he broke into a smile we had never seen before.

Alejandro’s friends and family cried tears of joy, as Alejandro smiled and laughed with each step he took. The ill-fitting leg Alejandro had been wearing cut into his skin and did not have a knee joint not only causing him pain, but making it near impossible to walk in a straight line.

While the initial plan was for Alejandro to stay inside the parallel bars, Alejandro decided he wanted to do things differently. Alejandro left the parallel bars and headed straight for the stairs, beaming as he walked up and down stairs for the first time in years. His daughter, Patti, watched in amazement and said, “You know why he’s doing that right? Ben [Falls] showed that he can do everything with his leg, so my Dad decided he was going to be able to do everything too—I guess he decided to get started now!”

Before leaving, Alejandro’s daughters brought out a cake to celebrate and show their appreciation for giving their father his life back. After many more hugs and tears, Alejandro and his family headed out to the parking lot, where Alejandro walked up and down the sidewalk, not wanting to leave. Eventually he left, letting us know that next time we saw him he would be walking without a cane and dancing on his new leg.

Shortly after Jorge Hernandez arrived with his mom, wife and sons, who were in shock that Jorge was about to receive a leg, freeing him from the wheelchair that he had been in ever since an accident seventeen years ago that resulted in the amputation of both of his arms and one of his legs. Once Jorge was fit with his prosthetic leg, Nick Glebowski and Rebeca helped Jorge as he took his first steps—something he had given up hope on years ago. His family cried as they imagined the possibilities for Jorge’s future. At 31, Jorge is optimistic about what’s in store, and looks forward to being able to be a whole man, father and husband again.

The final recipient, Victor Miramon, had been struggling with prosthesis that he received as a child. Now at 26, his leg no longer fits and he is forced to make alterations to it himself in efforts to continue participating in daily activities. His mother, sister, nephew and son all joined him as Rebeca and Nick fit him with his new leg, allowing him to live his active lifestyle without his prosthesis holding him back. Once Victor had on his new leg, he could not stop talking about what a huge difference having a leg that actually fit made—he even started jumping the parallel bars, something he could have never done with his previous prosthesis. Now that Victor has a leg that fits, he looks forward to going back to work, playing basketball with his friends and living his life without anything holding him back.
Check out Limbs of Love on Facebook for more pictures!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

TAPC Patient Hosts BBQ Benefit for Limbs of Love

Sunday’s Limbs of Love BBQ Benefit, hosted by TAPC patient Adrienne Pena, turned out to be a great success!

Adrienne, who lost both of her legs in August of 2008, was inspired to host this benefit after seeing how amputee’s lives have been changed through Limbs of Love. Adrienne, who received her limbs through DARS, felt that hosting this benefit would allow her to reach out to the amputee community and help those who have no other place to turn.

“This is completely from her heart,” said Adrienne’s mother, Yolanda Pena.

After spending the past month collecting donations of food, drinks, raffle items, and other various supplies, Adrienne had all the details in place to ensure the event went off without a hitch.

When the event kicked off at 11am, families were already lined up, ready to enjoy BBQ and support this great cause. Throughout the day we were joined by TAPC employees and their families, who came to enjoy the beautiful weather, great food and to show their support for Limbs of Love. There were even a few lucky employees that won gift baskets in the raffle!

Because of Adrienne’s hard work, Limbs of Love will be providing a patient with a limb that would have otherwise gone without.
Limbs of Love will forever be grateful for Adrienne’s dedication to Limbs of Love, and looks forward to another great event next year!

For more information on Limbs of Love, visit

For stories on patients who have benefitted from Limbs of Love, click here.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


A group of curious students from David Elementary were given a behind-the-scenes look at the making of prosthetic limbs as part of a school project Tuesday afternoon.

The students, who just finished reading a book about a boy who received a prosthetic hand in the 1940’s, were touring the Amputee & Prosthetic Center to learn about modern prosthetics and hopefully have the opportunity to meet an amputee themselves.

The students viewed facility’s historical display of artificial limbs dating back to the Civil War, before entering the prosthetic lab, where they watched in awe as Prosthetic Lab Manager, Tony Caballero, demonstrated each step involved in creating modern day prosthetics, including today’s computer controlled BIONIC Limbs.

Following the demonstration, tour guide Jody Graham revealed to the class that she herself is an amputee, giving the students the opportunity to speak with her about what daily life is like and how her life has changed since her amputation.

The group was amazed as Jody demonstrated how to take her leg on and off, while explaining what her day-to-day life is like as an amputee, as well as the activities she participates in with her support group, Amputees in Action.

“I applaud teachers for what they are doing with their students. These children are not only learning about the technology developed for our wounded veterans, but they are learning to understand and therefore accept the amputee community,” said Amputee & Prosthetic Center CEO, Joe Sansone.

The students weren't the only ones enthralled in this learning experience; a group of parents accompanied the students and remained equally captivated.

“We totally enjoyed the outing and the opportunity to learn so much from you; amazing work is done [at the Amputee & Prosthetic Center]!” said chaperone Tammy Scarborough. “Your enthusiasm for what you do is certainly contagious!”

With the recent advancement in prosthetic technology as a result of the Iraqi War, students experienced the evolution of prosthetic limbs over the past century in a single afternoon.

“Prosthetic technology has made impressive strides over the past few years, and it’s amazing to see how these exciting advancements in prosthetics have generated such an interest among the general public,” stated Amputee & Prosthetic Center CEO, Joe Sansone. “We always welcome an opportunity to educate the public and look forward to seeing their A+ projects!”

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

Meet our new Limbs of Love recipients

Friday proved to be a very emotional day at NBP, as we met three Limbs of Love recipients and their families for the first time.

The first recipient, Jorge, lost both of his arms and one of his legs in an electrical accident at the age of 14. Although he doesn’t have arms, Jorge has adapted to life—even learning to drive with what arms he does have when his wife was pregnant with their son and could no longer drive herself.

On Friday Jorge was joined by his mother, wife and two young sons and they were ecstatic about Jorge getting his life back. Jorge could not be more grateful, as he extended his thanks to everyone at Limbs of Love for allowing him to become a whole father, man and husband again. What he is most looking forward to once he receives his prosthesis is playing at the park with his sons for the first time instead of watching from his wheelchair on the side.

Victor, the second recipient, has not allowed the lack of a proper fitting prosthetic device slow him down. After being diagnosed with bone cancer at 11, Victor underwent an amputation to save his life. Growing up, he refused to use his amputation as an excuse, participating in various extreme sports alongside his friends, his favorite being snowboarding. Now 26, the prosthesis provided to him through Medicaid no longer fits, and he is constantly fixing and making alterations to his leg in efforts to continue working and living his life. His mother, sister, and nephew feel his optamistic attitude and overall outlook have gotten to him where he is today.

The third recipient, Alejandro, lost his leg after falling off a platform while working at a petroleum plant. He currently walks on a prosthesis that cuts into his skin, preventing him from participating in day-to-day activities. His friends, family, and members of the church all came to support Alejandro and thank Limbs of Love for the work we do for amputees.

There were lots of tears as the recipients shared their stories and hopes for the future. Thanks to Limbs of Love, their futures look bright as they envision the endless possibilities that will be available to them with their new prosthetic devices.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

TAPC: In the News

Did you read the newspaper this morning? If you did, you would have seen that TMC & the Houston Aeroes were recognized as a corporate sponsor of the STAR Skaters (remember our friends from Amputees on Ice?)

If you hit the snooze button and didn't get a chance to read the article, spotlighting Jim O'Neill and the STAR Skaters, don't can read it on the TAPC blog!

Sled hockey team offers competition

As a child, James O'Neill, loved the feeling of floating on ice. Growing up in Wisconsin, he learned to skate as soon as he could walk.

Today, O'Neill, 50, a skater and recreational ice hockey player, is giving disabled children and adults that joyous feeling by getting them on the ice.

“Skating has done so much for me, and I have made friends in every walk of life,” O'Neill said. “I thought that everyone should have the opportunity to be on the ice.”

Last year, O'Neill, of Sugar Land, envisioned a nonprofit group where anyone age 5 or older with a physical or developmental disability would be able to get experience on ice. He assembled a board of six people, an advisory board of four, and with several volunteers, created the nonprofit Star Skaters.

“This began for me when I saw a feature on television about the Skating Association for the Blind and Handicapped,” O'Neill said. “I saw that with a little assistance, kids were thrilled to be on the ice. I thought it would be neat to share that experience here in Houston.”

David Fleming, of Huffman, who lettered in five varsity sports in high school has been an amputee since 2003. He is now serving as captain of the sled-hockey team that is forming.

“Star Skaters stepped up to try to get funds to start our program, and I appreciate them and our other sponsors,” Fleming said. “It is great to play a sport again, and I get to feel that great sense of competition in playing.”

Ed Gavrila, owner of the New York Bagel and Coffee Shop, 9720 Hillcroft, and a former hockey player, was happy to be part of the organization's advisory board and help with fundraising efforts.

“Helping kids with a disability is a honor for me and I consider Jim O'Neill a fine man who created a wonderful organization,” Gavrila said. “I am lucky to be in a position to help and I would do anything I could for these kids.”

The organization recently had it's third fundraiser, an all-day 3-on-3 hockey tournament at Willowbrook Aerodrome, 8220 Willow Place Drive North. O'Neill's goal is to raise enough money to start a sled-hockey team for the disabled. Sled hockey is played much like regular hockey, but participants sit on a specially designed sled and have shorter sticks.

Corporate partners the Houston Aeros and TMC Orthopedic L.P. have provided jerseys and other equipment for creation of a sled-hockey team. O'Neill has interested players and has raised about $4,000 in fundraisers, but said he has a task ahead. The ice rink rental is $1,500 a month.

Willowbrook Aerodrome officials have cut the cost of their arena to assist Star Skaters. At the last demonstration of sled hockey earlier this year, there were about 100 disabled participants lining up for a chance to take the sled across the ice. TMC Orthopedic sponsored the event.

“Each person had some kind of prosthetic device on, but they were so excited to try sled hockey,” O'Neill said. “There was a line of people waiting to take their turn.”

O'Neill was an on-air radio personality from high school in the late ‘70s in Wisconsin until 1983, when he took a job in management at Metro Traffic. He won Billboard Magazine Personality of the Year in 1983. He attended Brown College in Minnesota and majored in communications.

Metro Traffic transferred him to Houston in 1987 where he worked until 2006, when he started his own video production company, Lonestar Sound and Pictures.

He makes videos for corporations and does television and radio commercials for clients such as State Farm Insurance.

Growing up playing recreational “pond hockey,” O'Neill took a break from skating through his young adult years. He found out about various ice hockey pick-up teams and leagues in the area, and resumed playing in 1993.

“Hockey has done so much for me, and I believe that it helps players stay physically and mentally in shape,” O'Neill said. “I just enjoy being around other players, and age doesn't matter. There are a lot of players older than me

O'Neill says anyone interested in being part of an ice experience or the sled hockey team to visit the organization's Web site at

Friday, September 11, 2009


Today at the Houston Fast 100 awards ceremony, 840 of 850 business men and women had lunch before Amputee & Prosthetic Center CEO Joe Sansone. That's because the winners were counted down from 100, and TAPC was named the #10 fastest growing company in Houston!

The Houston Business Journal ranked the Amputee & Prosthetic Center (TAPC) # 10 on the Houston Fast 100, an exclusive ranking of Houston’s fastest growing businesses. Businesses were ranked according to their past two-year growth and were required to be headquartered in the Houston area and be at least five-years-old.

Joe Sansone, CEO of TAPC, attributes the company’s success to it’s commitment to patients and revolutionary approach to amputee care.

“We were so surprised to be named in the top ten on Houston Fast 100 list,” said Sansone. “It’s a testament to the tremendous growth and success that we have achieved over the past five years, but even more so a testament to how dedicated our team is to delivering the best in prosthetic care. Going above and beyond by advocating for our amputee patients is what our company strives for."

Although TAPC’s parent company, TMC Orthopedic, has been named on the Houston 100 and Small Business 100 an unprecedented six times, this was the first year TAPC has been eligible for the Houston 100.

TAPC was created in 2004 when Sansone realized the lack of quality prosthetic care available to the amputee community. Since 2004, the Amputee & Prosthetic Center has developed a multitude of innovative programs that have thrusted the company into the national spotlight. Thanks to the glowing accolades from patients and physicians alike, the number of new patients has quickly increased, and as a result, revenues have increased 217.4% over a two year period.

TAPC’s achievements reach beyond revenue growth, as they have encountered more success in the past five years than most companies do in their entire existence. TAPC was named #1 on the Houston Best Places to Work List for 2008 and 2009 and has received multiple honors for its dedication to the amputee community, most notably through its charity Limbs of Love, which has provided over $1 million in prosthetic devices to amputees that would otherwise go without.

“The Amputee & Prosthetic Center was built on a team of dedicated, hard-working people that love what they do,” said Sansone. “The Houston Fast 100 ranking is well-deserved recognition and I am proud of the entire organization for this achievement. We plan to keep our focus on developing new programs to better the lives of our patients, making the future look bright not only for TAPC, but the amputee community as a whole.”

Thursday, September 3, 2009

TAPC Provides the Best in Prosthetic Care

Can't find the right words to describe to your friends, family and patients how amazing the Amputee & Prosthetic Center is? Then send them to to view our TAPC video! (Coming soon to the TAPC website...)

The video features patient testimonials as well as information on services available through the Amputee & Prosthetic Center.

I think we can all agree that patient satisfaction is the highest compliment we can receive! It enables us to see how our team efforts produce excellent results and an enhanced quality of life for all those we serve. These testimonials reflect our success in delivering the high-caliber prosthetic care to which every amputee is entitled.

Keep up the good work team!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

TMC did it again!

Due to your hard work and dedication, TMC Orthopedic has earned a ranking of #3333 on the 2009 Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America!

TMC's significant accomplishments have led it to be named among some of the most successful businesses in America.

Congratulations, team! This wouldn't have been possible without you!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A day in the life at TMC...



What better way to celebrate being the Best Place to Work in Houston than taking the afternoon off to go to the Astros game with co-workers, friends and family!?

Employees dressed the part, decked out in Astros gear from head-to-toe. Two lucky employees even won a day off with pay and extra money for the game for "the most spirited Astros Attire."

Annette Villarreal

Amanda Taylor

After the costume contest, employees headed to Minute Maid Park, where they enjoyed concessions galore while rooting on our very own Houston Astros! I hope everyone had a great afternoon off (despite the fact that the Astros lost...) Days like this are just one of the many reasons that TMC & TAPC are the Best Places to Work in Houston!!

Be sure to check out the website for pictures (coming soon...)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Amputees in Action: Another Success!

If you had asked me what sled hockey was two weeks ago, I probably would have given you a funny look and wondered what the heck you were talking about. OK, well not exactly, I have to give myself a little more credit than that, but you get my drift.

Today if you even mentioned sled hockey, I'd say "Just tell me when and where!"

If you're wondering what changed between then and now I'll tell you: it was the Amputees on Ice event hosted by Amputees in Action!

Last Saturday, Amputees in Action joined STAR Skaters for a brief support group meeting and an afternoon of sled hockey. I know we often cringe at the term "support group" due to the negative connotations associated with the term, but this was anything but your typical "support group."

Joe Sansone started off the meeting informing attendees about prosthetic parity and how amputees will be affected in the upcoming months. Peer Visitor Jody Graham then spoke on facing fears and overcoming challenges as an amputee. She shared her story of triumph and encouraged the group to push themselves to see what their bodies are capable of.

Now I have to be honest, when I first saw the STAR Skaters, they looked a little more experienced at playing ice hockey, than, oh, I don't know, say our group (minus Ryan Stelck). I was somewhat hesitant about getting on the ice with them and had a feeling a few others in attendance might have been feeling the same way I was.

After Jody finished her speech, challenging each individual to push themselves instead of sitting back and coasting through life, everyone in the room was inspired to put their bodies to the test. One of our patients, Kevin, spoke out saying he had no intentions of getting on the ice that day, but after hearing Jody's talking "how could [he] not."

Ten minutes later Kevin was on the ice, challenging himself and having the time of his life. In fact, he plans on joining the sled hockey team so he can play every weekend!

It was truly amazing to look out on the ice, seeing our patients (who were merely strangers the hour before) smiling and laughing as they overcame their fears and experienced a new found freedom on the ice with their friends they made through Amputees in Action.

As for our employees and their families, they too had a blast--just wait until you see the pictures!

Joe Sansone named Texan of the Week

Joe's commitment and dedication to the amputee community brought him the honor of being named the CBS Texan of the Week. Joe was recognized for changing the way the public views amputees, most notably through his charity, Limbs of Love.

CBS selects one "Texan" each week that deserves recognition based on "deeds or heroic actions worthy of acknowledgement in their community or service organization."

For the next week, CBS will be honoring Joe by airing a clip on his work with amputees on 110 radio stations across Texas. (I know what you're wondering, "What station can I hear it on in Houston?" Answer: CBS Sports radio 610)

Please join me in congratulating Joe on yet another great accomplishment!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Drum roll please....

Let’s hear it for Jody Graham! Jody recently participated in the Achilles International, Inc. Hope & Possibilities 2 mile walk/run in Atlanta, GA.

Achilles’ mission is to enable people with all types of disabilities to participate in mainstream athletics, promote personal achievement, enhance self esteem, and lower barriers, a mission Jody fully supports.

Jody, who had just learned to run on her prosthesis the day prior to the event, was nervous, but up to the challenge. “I knew a lot of the participants had done events like this before, so I was just focused on finishing the race. It really helped knowing that everyone else there was going through similar challenges that I was going through.”

Little did Jody know, she would not only be finishing the race, but she would be finishing 3rd in the Women’s BK division!

“It was such a good feeling crossing the finish line, I was so proud of myself for doing what I set out to do!” said Jody.

Although this was Jody’s first time to participate in a race as an amputee, it will not be her last. Jody plans to continue to participate in events that challenge herself and her peers so she can inspire those around her and serve as that life continues after amputation.

Keep up the great work, Jody!

Limbs of Love--update!

If you missed my post on Friday, you may not have know that Limbs of Love helped not one, but two amputees in need get back on their feet again! Abel Bravo and Terri French had been wheelchair bound for years, unable to obtain artificial limbs due to financial constraints and lack of insurance coverage. Seeing the hope in Abel Bravo’s eyes, knowing that he can finally go back to work and support his family after years of struggling, and watching Terri French beam with pride as she picked up her granddaughter, standing on her own two feet for the first time ever, inspires us to want to work even harder to do this over and over again for as many people as possible.

If you missed Limbs of Love on the news last night, be sure to check out the videos of these two amazing recipients. We should all be proud to say we are part of Limbs of Love, a charity that has changed so many people’s lives and will continue to do so in years to come. Way to go team!

Friday, July 24, 2009

A TAPC Secret....

Ever since TAPC was named #1 on Houston's Best Place to Work list for the second year in a row, business owners, mangers, and even competitors have asked Joe how we have managed to receive this honor not once, but twice. They think there must be some secret, and it's one I'm going to let you in on.

Yes, we have employee "Fun Days," birthdays off with pay, no interest employee loans (the list goes on...) but all of these "perks" have nothing to do with why we, as TAPC employees, feel that we are the Best Place to Work in Houston.

Being part of TAPC means you get to impact and change patients lives on a daily basis, most notably by participating in our charity, Limbs of Love. It may sound odd to you that the secret to our employees happiness is participating in a charity, but it's an incredible benefit to be able to truly give back to the patients. As Joe says, "It's the glue that holds our company together."

Each and every Limbs of Love patient has been given a new lease on life, thanks to TAPC. Many of you have had the opportunity to meet our recipients and hear their amazing stories, but there are a few of you that work tirelessly behind the scenes and never meet the people whose lives you've changed forever.

On Monday, Limbs of Love will be delivering prostheses to Terri French and Abel Bravo, two very deserving amputees. We want to give all of you the chance to be "introduced" to our Limbs of Love recipients, so please take a few minutes to read Terri French's story--it is one that will make you proud to work for the Best Place to Work in Houston!

Friday, July 10, 2009

How About a Round of Applause for….


TMC always loves to promote from within and our best example is Yolanda Bowens. She has been with TMC for 8 years and started as a biller in the insurance department. She has moved up to a team lead to other position throughout the company and she is currently the insurance department supervisor. On Friday Yolanda was promoted to Insurance Department Manager!! She has been able to take all responsibility for the insurance department with little or no involvement from Ryan or Joe. We would like to congratulate her on her excellent achievement!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Prosthetics and NASA Related? Who knew!

Did you know the foam insulation used to protect space shuttle’s external tank—the same insulation that fell off during Columbia’s final liftoff resulting in the shuttle’s demise—has ironically played a roll in prosthetic technology?

NASA recommended this light and virtually indestructible material to the O&P industry as an alternative to the heavy fragile plaster used for prosthetic molds. The foam is not only lighter, and more durable, but is less expensive and faster to manufacture, which financially helps O&P companies and their patients. So, in a way, NASA’s tragedy has “spun-off” to benefit amputees around the world.

If you don’t believe me, just go to the Health Museum and find out for yourself!

That’s right, the Amputee & Prosthetic Center has partnered with the Health Museum to present a “touch cart” of NASA spin-off technologies at this summer’s FACING MARS exhibit—an exhibit about the challenges humans face colonizing Mars. The Spin-off “touch cart” features different types of technology that NASA has developed that have become part of our lives (prosthetics included!)

The Amputee & Prosthetic Center donated various components and materials for educational use to the museum, so visitors have the opportunity to see and touch these materials first hand.

Aside from the “touch cart,” the exhibit features various interactive stations that encourage visitors to “walk on Mars,” test and launch rockets, “fly over” the Martian landscape and consider the implications humans face in their quest to reach Mars.

The exhibit will be on display through September 7th, so be sure to check it out—it’s guaranteed to be a fun and educational experience for the entire family (and a great way to get out of the summer heat!)

The Health Museum
1515 Hermann Drive
Houston, TX 77004

Note: Summer hours for the museum are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. General Admission is $8 for adults and $6 for children ages 3-12 and senior adults. Museum members and children two years of age and under are admitted free.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Life Changing News on New Years Day

While others were out celebrating New Years day 2007, Abdelali ElFilali received the news from his doctor that would change his life forever—the infection in his leg would necessitate immediate amputation.

Abdelali had always been a hard working family man, whose primary focus in life was providing for his family and he prided himself on always being there for his family. However, following his sudden amputation the roles were reversed. Without the funds to pay for an artificial leg, Abdelali was no longer able to work, and instead of supporting his family, they were now supporting him.

"I felt like a drain upon my family," stated Abdelali. "I usually refuse to go anywhere outside of the home with my daughter because she has her two small children to take care of and I don’t want to be like a third child that she has to attend to," said Abdelali. "If you took a look at your life, how busy are you? If you had to depend on a loved one or friend to help you out with just going to the bathroom, or just taking care of simple things in life, not only has your life changed, but their life as well."

After learning about the charity Limbs of Love, Abdelali's children submitted his story to the organization, in hopes Limbs of Love could provide him with a prosthetic leg. What was unknown to Abdelali's family was that at the time, Limbs of Love was based only in Houston and had never assisted patients outside the Houston vicinity. Limbs of Love founder Joe Sansone found the story so compelling that he reached out to Dallas based Baker Orthotics & Prosthetics for help.

“Gordon Stevens of Baker O&P was immediately receptive to the idea of teaming up with Limbs of Love to give Abdelali his life back,” Sansone stated. “It’s amazing to meet people like Gordon who not only provide prosthetic limbs to patients for a profit, but are also passionate about reaching out to the amputee community.”

Upon receiving the news, Abdelali’s family was in shock. “We didn’t believe it! We were looking forward to him having a leg so he could walk again, it was like a dream come true for all of us!” said his son Rahim.

Abdelali was ecstatic about learning to walk on his new prosthesis. “We would look forward to seeing [staff at Baker O&P], they were really good, really professional people,” stated Rahim.
June 29, 2009 was an extremely emotional day for Abdelali and his entire family when he received his prosthesis—a day his family had prayed would come for so long. “It’s so emotional, we just can’t believe it! It’s amazing, it’s like he has a real leg!” said his son Rahim.

And now, with Abdelali adjusting to life back on his feet, his family struggles continue. However, now their struggle is keeping up with their once sedentary housebound loved one. “I used to always know walking in the front door, there would be my father, sitting in the same old chair, watching the same old TV, because that’s all he ever did. And just yesterday, I came home and was shocked and amazing to see that my father was not there,” stated Rahim. “I was actually quite frightened because this was such a new occurrence. I panicked until I looked through the front window and saw him outside walking in the street, playing with the grandkids. It’s so beautiful and it’s such a blessing, Limbs of Love has changed our lives forever.”

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

We're Going National!!

This week in Dallas, later this month in Pittsburg...

coming soon to a city near you!

Through the generosity of fellow practitioners, after 3 years of providing over $1,000,000 in prosthetic limbs for patients without resources in the Houston area, Limbs of Love is proud to announce its expansion to serving patients throughout the country.

We have teamed up with O and P facilities across the country to provide prosthetic limbs to those that have lost a limb but do not have the resources to pay for a prosthetic device. Currently, Limbs of Love is working with Forth Worth based Baker O&P and Pittsburgh based De La Torre O&P to provide two deserving amputees with prosthetic limbs, giving them the gift of mobility and a new lease on life. Limbs of Love not only changes the lives of amputees, but portrays the O and P industry in a positive light through the media attention generated, spotlighting those prosthetist that are truly dedicated to serving the amputee community through their involvement.

Click the picture below to see Abdelali ElFilali's story, a morrocan amputee who received a prosthetic leg Tuesday, thanks to Fort Worth based Baker O&P and Limbs of Love.

Stay tuned tomorrow for more on Abdelali....

Thursday, June 25, 2009


For the second year in a row, The Amputee and Prosthetic Center (TAPC) has been named #1 on the Houston’s Best Places to Work List. In addition, their parent company, TMC Orthopedic, was ranked second!

At the awards ceremony on June 24 at the Hilton Americas, TAPC’s Founder and CEO Joe Sansone was obviously taken by surprise by his company’s unprecedented two-year achievement. “It’s so meaningful to receive this award, above so many others, because this honor illustrates that our company’s commitment to our employees has indeed been recognized,” he said. To think that of all the businesses in Houston, my two companies are the best to work for couldn’t make me prouder."

A subsidiary of TMC Orthopedic, TAPC was created in 2004 as a response to several amputees’ objections that their needs were not being met by prosthetic providers. Sansone’s initiatives, coupled with the skills of Chief Prosthetist Ben Falls, thrusted the company into the national spotlight as they were highlighted on the covers of periodicals, dozens of television news stories, and by the Associated Press across the country. Joe Sansone was recognized by the Amputee Coalition of America as Professional of the Year in 2008.

“I am so pleased with this distinction,” stated Sansone, “because it illustrates what TAPC is all about: take care of the patients and they will take care of you; take care of your employees and they will take care of you. Without our fantastic team members and their commitment to the company and their patients, we would be nowhere.” Thanks to the glowing accolades from patients and physicians alike, the number of new patients flocking to TAPC has escalated, and as a result, the company has grown from two employees to over 25.

“This distinction is so impressive,” said Sansone, “because the winners are not determined by a third party who evaluates our policies.” Scoring for these awards was based on employee responses to an anonymous online survey, and those scores are compared with all applicants to determine ranking.

Sansone summed it up in saying, “There’s no greater gift employees can give management than to let the world know they think their company is the best place to work.”

Want to know more about two of Houston's Best Places to Work? Click here.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

TAPC is now on Facebook and Linkedin!

Are you part of the online social and business networks? TAPC is! We have set up a group for TPTA on both Facebook and Linkedin. Click on the icons below and join us!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Joe Sansone Honored As Finalist for Health Care Hero Award & More

Our very own TMC Orthopedic CEO Joe Sansone is a finalist for the 1st annual Health Care Hero Award Community Outreach Division and the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Congratulations Joe for just being you! Best of Luck!

So let's see why Joe is so deserving of these awards, in as much of a nutshell as can be...

In 2004, complaints could be heard about the level of service amputee patients were receiving from TMC Orthopedic. Joe could have continued with the standard level of service or do something about it. And so it begins...he listened to his patients, researched other models in the industry, was dissatisfied with what he found and created something entirely different- The Amputee and Prosthetic Center.

Why Should You Care?
Imagine having lost a limb because of something obviously unfortunate. You get shuffled from this doctor and that. You feel lost in the shuffle. Does anyone care that you're missing something you need?

Joe Sansone did and still does. He created a full service patient care program. The moment you walk into the door, you are greeted and introduced to your nurse advocate who will assist you throughout the process. In addition, you also get a peer visitor who is a fellow amputee trained by the Amputee Coalition of America to help you through the hardest part- dealing with the loss and renewing your spirit. And to top it off, you also get a state of the art 8,000 square foot facility, the largest in the country, that offers you not just exceptional patient care but a gym, library and coffee bar.

Why Should I Care?
I, as an employee, have a stake in this too. TMC Orthopedic and The Amputee and Prosthetic Center have received the Best Place to Work award 3 years in a row now from the Houston Business Journal (HBJ). Not only does Joe work round the clock to ensure that his patients are happy, he makes sure his employees happy. A happy employee makes for a happy home (or in this case your home away from home).

He Has a Heart
After years of seeing patients that could not afford a prosthesis go without, Joe decided it was time to give back to the community and formed the charity Limbs of Love. Joe doesn't have the heart to say to someone who has just lost a limb that they can't have one because their insurance won't cover it or they simply can't afford it. Limbs of Love has donated over a million dollars in prosthetic devices to those who would have gone without.

And the Story Continues
Because an amputee's insurance would not cover certain prosthetic devices, Joe sought the help of the Texas Legislature. Joe, along with fellow amputees, marched to the State Capitol to tell their story. On May 13, 2009, Governor Rick Perry signed into law House Bill 806 so that insurance companies are required to provide minimum coverage for amputees equal to Medicare.

What's Your Story
Tell us how Joe and TMC Orthopedic has touched your life. Hopefully the folks at the Health Care Hero Award and Ernst & Young pick up on this.

Wounded Warriors Skydive

What a wonderful way to start the day!

Heather, Kirk and the Warriors sent us a great thank you letter for their recent skydiving adventure.

Saturday morning will never be forgotten. A special thank you goes out to the Brazoria County Calvary for heir gracious escort through Pearland. It takes a special group of people to brave an early morning cold front and harsh winds just to escort us down the road of few miles. Although theweather was out of anyone's control, the willingness of TMC Orthopedic and skydive Spaceland to accomodate us for an additional day was extradordinary. Thank you for working with us.

Our bus had yet to get out of the Houston City Limits before our warriors began asking about going back next year! The halls in the CFI on Monday morning were buzzing with excitement and stories from our skydivers. Before I could even get to work, our Director, COL Menetrez had already been approached by three different patients thanking her for the opportunity to event go! Words cannot express how grateful we are to you for providing us with the opportunity to skdive! Thank you again for a memorable weekend!

The pleasure was all ours. Thank you Wounded Warriors for the service you have given to our country. We can't wait for next year!

New Leg on Life for All Amputees

Fell Down Flight of Stairs- Leg at the Top. Me at the Bottom.

This is a story of Diane Johnston.

Born with a partially developed left leg, Diane was fitted with many prosthetic legs over the years. Because of the design and adjustment time, she had her fair share of stumbles and tumbles. "This past October I fell down a flight of stairs. My leg was still at the top of the stairs…I landed at the bottom, "said Diane. Doctors told her she needed a computerized leg to ensure stability so that she wouldn't fall. Unfortunately, her insurance didn’t cover it.

Limbs of Love fit Diane with $50,000 computerized leg, "the Lexus of prosthetic limbs". This state-of-the-art wonder has a microprocessor in the knew that uses hydraulics to keep her from stumbling. It's the same technology that is currently being used on soldiers who lost their limbs in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Diane recalled the first time she began walking using her high-tech leg with one word: awkward. “Walking with two legs was and is a learning curve,” she said with a laugh in her voice, “but I’ve been told I’m doing just fine!” Each night, she charges her leg for 8 hours and gets around with a cane for the time being. The Amputee and Prosthetics Center believes that she will be walking with ease within two months.

Because of Diane's story and the work of Limbs of Love, the Amputee Coalition of America, and advocates across Texas Governor Rick Perry signed House Bill 806 into law on May 1 to provide minimum coverage for amputees equal to Medicare on the state level.

“I believe Texas is one of a handful of states that will pass this bill, and Joe Sansone and I would like to see this happen nationwide,” said Diane. “If Limbs of Love ever needs my help again, I would most certainly be there to share my story and offer my support.”

It may have taken 60 years and several trial and errors with other prosthetic legs, but with Limbs of Love’s generosity Diane Johnston can finally begin to walk with confidence, not only for herself but for all amputees in need of prosthetic devices.

Check out the KHOU's story about Diane.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

TAPC Travels to San Antonio, TX for TAOP Conference

The world of O&P is constantly changing, and the Amputee and Prosthetic Center wants to ensure it's employees are up-to-date on the latest technology to give the best possible care to their patients!

Last weekend five orthotists/prosthetists accompanied Joe Sansone and Ryan Stelck to San Antonio, TX for the Texas Association of Orthotist & Prosthetists (T.A.O.P.) Conference, an annual conference that keeps its members abreast of the latest clinical studies, better business practices, and more.

The group attended workshops on Friday, and were joined that night by their families for a delicious steak dinner. Saturday was filled with professional key note speakers, including our very own Joe Sansone.

It's always amazing to see how quickly things change and evolve in the O&P world, and we were proud to have one of our own present to educate members of the O&P community on the latest developments!

To learn more about speeches given by Joe Sansone, click here.

Monday, May 4, 2009

C.O.O. Wears Dress for a Cause

So you're probably thinking to yourself, "C.O.O. wears dress for a cause"!? What's that about? Well, over at TMC Orthopedic we do things a little differently to motivate our employees.

As many of you know, the Amputee & Prosthetic Center recently sponsored the 2nd Annual Airborne Amputees event hosted by the Limbs of Love organization, where amputees from across Texas skydived to show that life goes on after amputation. The event proved to be a success, as a crowd of over 600 gathered to support amputees (some even chose to jump with them) and participated in a day of fun filled activities at Skydive Spaceland.

As a way to raise money for this event and to support Limbs of Love, an organization that provides limbs to amputees that cannot otherwise afford them, employees sold raffle tickets to the public to win a 50" flat screen TV. Joe Sansone, C.E.O., and Ryan Stelck, C.O.O., were determined to raise money for this worthy cause. They decided that in order to motivate their employees to sell as many raffle tickets as possible, they needed to provide an incentive. They chose to divide employees into two groups, and whichever group sold the most raffle tickets would have dinner cooked for them by the "loser" wearing a dress. When it came down to it, Joe Sansone's team sold the most tickets, and together the two teams raised a total of $20,670.00 for Limbs of Love.

Last Thursday, Ryan Stelck kept his word and showed up to cook and serve dinner to Joe Sansone's team, all in his pretty purple dress, pictured here. Ryan Stelck cooked a delicious dinner and everyone had a we just have to wait and see what bet they come up with to raise money next year.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Welcome to the Amputee & Prosthetic Center blog

Hello and welcome to the Amputee & Prosthetic Center blog! We have created this blog as a source of information, insight and updates about TAPC.

We plan on posting every week so sign up for an e-mail alert to receive notifcation of new entries as they are posted.