Heartless insurers of the week: Sanford Health and the North Dakota Public Employees Retirement System. Their one-leg-per-lifetime policy leaves North Dakota resident Jason Hunter to layer on 32 socks every time he uses his prosthesis. That’s what it takes to get something even remotely close to a decent fit with his current socket.
A left below-knee amputee since 2010, Hunter has gone through multiple limbs in the last 11 years. But the insurer changed its coverage policies recently, triggering a denial when Hunter put in a claim for a new limb. Because North Dakota is one of the 29 states without a Fair Insurance for Amputees Law, there’s not much Hunter can do. Friends and family are trying to raise enough money to buy him a new prosthesis, but it will inevitably need to be replaced at some point “There needs to be change,” Hunter’s wife, Amber, told Fargo TV station KVLY.
Elsewhere in the headlines:
We’ve been writing a lot recently about pioneering AMI surgery, and now there’s more big news on that front: An Army veteran from Walla Walla, Washington, recently became the first upper-limb amputee to undergo the procedure.
Milly Pickles, a British below-knee amputee who’s racked up 10 million likes on TikTok, was asked to be the first contestant with a disability on the reality show Love Island. Here’s why she turned down the offer.
Former Miss Colombia Daniella Alvarez marked her first ampuversary with a heartfelt message on Instagram. “That day I really knew the meaning of the word acceptance,” she wrote. “I woke up without pain, healthy and happy to be on this path, which with its difficulties is more interesting and challenging.” (h/t Hola!)
Osseointegration on a vulture? No way. . . . uh, actually, way. The bionic bird, whose name is Mia, was walking, flying, and landing normally just three weeks after surgery.
ProPublica’s story about the amputation epidemic among Black Americans helped it win a National Magazine Award for public interest journalism.
How does champion triathlete Melissa Stockwell get into and out of her competition prosthesis? Watch her demonstration on Twitter.
Amputee writer Emily Rapp Black found an unlikely source of comfort in accepting her limb-different body: the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, who became an amputee late in life.