Butler VA Health Care System
VA Support after Amputation
Thursday, April 4, 2019Domenic Lombardo enlisted in the U.S. Navy when he was 17 years old. He has been coming to the VA for about 10-15 years, and the VA helped him through his amputation recovery in 2016.
After a bad motorcycle accident in 2003, one in which Domenic felt lucky to even be alive from, he experienced pain for years; tremendous, unbearable pain in his leg. In November 2016, he made the decision to have his leg amputated.
“I feel blessed to have had the VA behind me with some of my recovery with the amputation,” shared Domenic. Domenic went to physical therapy at the Butler VA, as well as received his prosthetics through VA following his amputation. “There are great doctors and physical therapists at Butler.”
The Butler VA’s Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) Service is a physician directed, interdisciplinary team treatment process designed to increase independence and improve quality of life for Veterans. The Butler VA offers both inpatient and outpatient physical therapy services amongst other services (i.e. occupational therapy, kinesiotherapy, recreation therapy, etc.).
After some of his rehabilitation was complete, Domenic started doing things he couldn’t do before because of his extreme pain.
“I started running. It’s a little ironic, I know. People cannot realize the pain I was in for all those years, and now to be without any pain, with just one leg, is awesome. It’s not like I’ve been running all these years – it is just something I can do now without all the pain. Once the pain was gone, my whole life changed.”
Domenic exercises (almost) every day. He also regularly runs races whenever he can. Last summer at a local race he even placed first in his age group (over 70)!
Domenic continues to receive his care at VA, primarily at the Cranberry Township VA Clinic. He is grateful to the VA (and all the staff) who supported his amputation recovery and continue to provide him with care whenever he has a problem.