Company helping amputee patient in need

Published 5:58 pm Tuesday, August 23, 2011

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

As Adam Williams, a prosthetist with the Alabaster-based Next Step Prosthetics and Orthotics in Alabaster, was setting one of his patient’s second prosthetic leg, he was struck by the story the man was telling him.

The patient, Chris Davis, had been coming to the clinic since Buerger’s disease, a rare blood disorder, caused him to lose one of his legs below the knee several years ago.

“At this point it was really no big deal. He had insurance, he had his family and we got him up and walking no problem,” Williams said. “He received a prosthetic leg, and he basically went straight back to work as a mechanic.”

But a few years later, the disease, which quickly eats away tissues in the extremities, returned.

After Davis and his wife were divorced, he took custody of his five children. Then, the disease caused him to lose his second leg.

“He was a mechanic, and he couldn’t work around a greasy floor with two prosthetic legs because of the liability,” Williams said. “Now he has no insurance, no job, and he only qualifies for SSI. No disability, no Medicare, nothing.

“Regardless, he has been taking care of the kids as best he can,” Williams added, noting Davis and his children currently are staying with a family member in Clanton. “They have moved five or six times in the past year. Sometimes all the kids sleep in a bed together, and they make it.”

In late July, Williams said he decided to do whatever he could to help Davis care for his children and live a more stable life.

“He told me he went to the Shelby County DHR and told them his story and talked about surrendering his kids because he couldn’t provide a high quality of life for them anymore,” Williams said. “DHR was very supportive of him and said ‘We will do everything we can to help you. We aren’t going to take your kids away.’

“He started receiving disability assistance, but he really wants to be employed,” Williams added.

After hearing Davis’ story, Williams said he began seeking donations for the family. So far, volunteers have donated clothes, food, money and even a three-bedroom trailer for Davis and his family to live in.

Someone also offered a reduced price on land to house the trailer.

“People are going nuts to help. There has been a tremendous response of people asking what we need,” Williams added.

Williams also planned a bake sale to benefit the Davis family, and already has nearly 50 cakes donated. The sale will be held on Aug. 26 at Next Step Prosthetics and Orthotics at 557 First St. N. in Alabaster from 9 a.m.-7 p.m.

“Right now, monetary donations are of the greatest importance,” Williams said. “We really just need a few thousand dollars, because it costs a lot to move that trailer up here.”

For more information about helping Davis and his children, call Next Step at 664-5347.