I am a Vietnam veteran and my left leg was amputated in-country above the knee. I have been very fortunate in that the VA has provided me with great care and equipment. Since my initial injury I have had a number of different prosthetic limbs and parts. I have them stored in my basement as I can’t bring myself to throw them away. The VA will not take them back. They tell me they are outdated and something about legal liability. Any suggestions on what I can do to get rid of my limbs besides throwing them away?
This question was a little outside of my subject matter area so I checked with the folks over at the Amputee Coalition for this information (http://www.amputee-coalition.org/).
Prosthetic components are generally not reused in the United States because of legal considerations. However, used prosthetic limbs may be disassembled and the components shipped to Third World countries for use by landmine victims and/or other individuals in need. The following organizations may accept donations of used prosthetic limbs and/or components, depending on their current program needs.
Ability Prosthetics & Orthotics
55 South Washington Street, Suite 11
Gettysburg, PA 17325
Ability Prosthetics & Orthotics has teamed up with Physicians for Peace. Their goal is to collect old prosthetic parts and ship them overseas so that more amputees will have greater access. They will accept prosthetic donations at all their facilities in Maryland and Pennsylvania.
The Barr Foundation
|The Barr Foundation
c/o Extra Space Storage
3090 NW 2nd Ave Suite 758
Boca Raton, FL 33431
|The Barr Foundation
c/o Custom Silicon Fabrication
324 Divisadero St.
San Francisco, CA 94117-2209
This fund pays for materials and fitting of a new prosthesis after the prosthetist has established that there are no other sources of funding available. The Barr Foundation also accepts monetary, used and new prosthetic devices and components, and will acknowledge all donations with our donations nonprofit federal tax identification number for your tax purposes. Please call or e-mail the Barr Foundation for further information.
Bowman-Siciliano Limb Bank Foundation
100 Spanish Oak RD
Weatherford, TX 76087
This Foundation collects and distributes all forms of prosthetic limbs to those in need. They collaborate at times with other foundations to assist in countries outside the U.S. and prosthetic labs across the U.S. They raise funds to provide transportation, lodging and prosthetic limbs and services to those in need.
Limbs for Life Foundation
218 E. Main St
Oklahoma City, OK 73104
405/605-5462 or 888/235-5462 (toll-free)
Thanks to the World Limb Bank, the Limbs for Life Foundation is able to collect and distribute used prosthetics and prosthetic componentry free of charge to amputees in Third World countries. Parts are used to create prostheses for their recipients, thus reducing the costs for the prosthetist. They also accept unused socks or liners.
Limbs of Love
1000 S Loop West STE 150
Houston, TX 77054
Limbs of Love uses the volunteered time, skills and resources of medical professionals and manufacturers from the Houston area in an effort to improve the overall quality of life for amputees, primarily in Texas.
Physicians for Peace
500 East Main Street, Suite 900
Norfolk, VA 23510
Physicians for Peace is an international, humanitarian, nonprofit, medical education organization dedicated to building peace and international friendships in developing nations with unmet medical needs and scarce resources. Donations of medical supplies and equipment are greatly valued.
The Prosthetic and Orthotic Component Clearinghouse
3240 Clifton Springs Road
Decatur, GA 30034
The POCC was launched in July 2007 as a collaborative project between MedShare International and the U.S. National Member Society of ISPO (US-ISPO). The aim of the Prosthetic and Orthotic Component Clearinghouse is to provide a mechanism for people to make tax-deductible donations of new and gently used prosthetic and orthotic goods while in turn affording non-governmental organizations (NGOs), P&O practitioners, and developing world schools and facilities access to these badly needed supplies.
Standing With Hope
|Standing With Hope Program
Attn: Barton Wilson
5115 Harding Place
Nashville, TN 37211
Standing With Hope
914 Waterswood Drive
Nashville, TN 37220
Standing With Hope does faith-based prosthetic outreach in West Africa. They accept socks, liners, and other prosthetic supplies as well as used prostheses.
Volunteers for Inter-American Development Assistance (VIDA)
6251 Hollis ST
Emeryville, CA 94608
VIDA is a nonprofit medical relief and development assistance organization based in Emeryville, California. Since their founding in 1991, they have provided nearly $40 million in medical aid to 11 countries in Latin America. They are currently attempting to acquire prosthetic limbs for landmine victims.
Local Prosthetic Facilities
Some prosthetic facilities sponsor periodic trips to Third World countries to provide prosthetic services. They may collect used limbs and prosthetic components for distribution through these programs. Contact a local facility for opportunities and specifics.
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