Excerpted from the story "When Lesley Daniels walked for the first time in five years" by Monroe News photographer Tom Hawley (photo above by Tom Hawley).
The Danielses started their journey with prosthetics at the University of Michigan Health System, UM Orthotics and Prosthetics Center. The first set of prosthetics came on Oct. 7, 2013.
“I felt every step forward, I took 10 steps back,” she said. ” We have had some setbacks.”
Changes to Leslie her limbs have made it hard to receive a final set of prosthetic legs. She had surgery in April of this year to address the bursas, neuromas and shave new bone that had grown. She has been in therapy for the past 4½ years.
“I call myself Mrs. McKnotty,” she said, as her physical therapist, Mary Roberts, massages her hamstrings, which are loaded with knots.
“My therapists are my godsend,” referring to occupational therapist Kathie Juchartz, physical therapists Roberts and Tara Culbert and PT technician Olaniyi Owagbemi. “He is my knight in shining armor. He has been my safety net as I have overcome my fear of falling. It keeps my face from hitting the ground.”
Her therapists attest to Daniels’ strength.
“Lesley is an inspiration,” said Roberts, doctor of physical therapy and neurological clinical specialist at MedRehab Canton. “She believes in herself, surrounds herself with people that believe in her, and never takes no for an answer. It is her drive and determination that has brought her to reach her goals, and I am just happy to be able to facilitate that for her in any way possible. If you are struggling with overcoming adversity, one conversation with her can change your day for the better.”