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Konover Campus Center filled with physical therapy and prosthetics and orthotics students on Thursday, November 15, 2012. Students came to chat informally with Paralympic athletes Katie Holloway, sitting volleyball medalist, and Steve Serio, wheelchair basketball medalist. The informal conversations preceded a general presentation about the Paralympics that was open to the public. The event was sponsored by The Hartford in collaboration with the College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions' Center for Health, Care, and Well-being.
Katie and Steve also addressed the audience as a whole. Katie spoke candidly about wanting to hide her prosthetic device (lower leg) throughout high school by wearing long socks well into warmer weather. She successfully participated in school sports but, once encouraged to explore paralympic sporting events, she became a convert. Steve, was paralyzed in his first year of life following surgery to remove a spinal tumor. His different wheelchairs facilitate his active life. Both athletes projected confidence in their ability to overcome their physical challenges and in their belief that others could do so as well.
Clinical Director of the Masters in Prosthetics and Orthotics, Matt Parente, thanks Katie and Steve for their presentations.
Katie demonstrates a move in sitting volleyball.
The athletes made it very clear to the audience of future physical therapy and prosthetic and orthotic professionals that they will be in a position to truly make a difference in the lives of their patients. They noted that understanding, encouragement, and support is particularly important in the event of an accident that results in the sudden amputation of a limb for a young person.