Ned Foote, the President of VVA New York State Council, lost his lower left leg during a Marine Corps operation in the DMZ in April 1969. Ned has been coming to Sampson’s for over 50 years. After several surgeries and medical setbacks, Foote received a prosthetic leg from the VA hospital in Albany, New York. However, he did not receive adequate instruction on how to use it. A chance encounter with prosthetic tech, Bill Sampson, changed Foote's life. Sampson owned an independent prosthetics company that offered a patient-centered approach that the VA did not offer. He worked with Foote until he mastered using the prosthetic leg. Foote realized he was not alone and decided to quit feeling sorry for himself and focus on returning to his life. Sampson's patient-centered approach to prosthetics led Foote to become a leading advocate for disabled veterans. He fought for prosthetics and disability benefits for all veterans. Foote’s story reminds us that we all need someone to help us find our way, especially in our darkest moments. His life-changing meeting with Bill Sampson shows the importance of personal connection, empathy, and compassionate care.
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