Countys Luckett family
finds success making prosthetics
started in 1952 with
grandfathers dream to help others
Helen E. McKinney
LA GRANGE, Ky. (August 2008) When James H.
Luckett lost his right leg below the knee in a rail car accident at
age 16, he decided to devote his life to providing quality prosthetic
services to others like himself. Since 1952, the Luckett family of Oldham
County has continued that dream and turned their business into a lasting
tradition that helps patients return to life as they knew it before
becoming an amputee.
by Helen McKinney
left, Tyler and Wayne
Luckett operate the family
business in Louisville.
I see a lot of patients come in riding in a wheelchair.
They may feel down on their luck or that their world has collapsed.
We get them back on their feet, said Wayne Luckett, a certified
prosthetist and grandson of James H. Luckett.
My grandfather was my mentor, said Luckett, a La Grange
resident. Luckett has even kept tools he watched his grandfather use
to fashion limbs from wood when he was a boy.
His grandfather had been unhappy with the medical treatment he received
for his artificial limb. This prompted him to found Falls City Limb
& Brace Co., which later changed its name to Louisville Prosthetics.
He knew from personal experience that it was extremely important to
spend a lot of time with his patients, Luckett said. Comfort is
Luckett said Louisville Prosthetics is different from the competition
because it is a family run, family-oriented business. All design, fabrication
and fittings are completed on site, which is convenient if a problem
should arise. Many patients suffer from vascular disease, motorcycle
accidents or diabetes.
Luckett, 45, began working in the business doing small, clean-up jobs
when he was in the eighth grade. As he spent more of his summers working
in the business, he became more interested in it. Even though he was
assigned the menial jobs, I knew early on exactly what I wanted
to do, he said.
Luckett and his two brothers, Bruce and Chris, earned bachelors
degrees before entering the prosthetic program at Northwestern University
Medical School in Chicago. All three siblings completed a one-year medical
residency and passed board exams to become highly experienced practitioners.
by Helen McKinney
are samples of artifical limbs
made by Falls City Limb & Brace Co.
Unlike his eldest son, Wayne, Robert Luckett did not take
to the family business as quickly. Robert helped his father around the
business in the summer, but years went by and he was in his first year
of college at the University of Louisvilles Speed School before
deciding this was the career for him.
Dad was in a bind one summer and asked me if Id come in
and help, said Robert, a Prospect, Ky., resident. This experience
opened his eyes as to what he could do for the rest of his life, and
he has been at it full-time since 1960.
I cant describe how rewarding it is to help another individual
like that, said Robert. Sons Bruce, Wayne and Chris are in the
family business, and his grandson, Tyler, is also contemplating joining
Robert said he prefers to work in the lab, performing the actual fabrication
of the prosthetic. I like the direct contact with the client and
meeting their goals.
Louisville Prosthetics is located close to major hospitals at 742 E.
Broadway. Many patients come to feel like extended family because of
the care and personal attention they receive.
This makes the road to recovery a little smoother for an amputee, they
say. It may take a little extra time for some patients to be back up
on their feet, but the end result is very rewarding for the patient
as well as the Luckett family.
Just to see the smile on their face and the mental change of attitude
gives Wayne Luckett the desire to go to work every day. His wife, Laura,
is the front office manager, and they also have a daughter, Hannah.
Permanent prosthetic legs have a lifespan of three to seven years, depending
upon usage and different factors. Although the legs do not wear out,
they may have to be replaced because of changes in a patients
physical anatomy, such as weight gain or loss.
Services offered by Louisville Prosthetics include partial hand prostheses,
swim prostheses, sports prostheses, microprocessor controlled knee units,
residual limb shrinkers and clinical evaluations, just to name a few.
There are several stages a patient must go through before receiving
a permanent prosthesis. After amputation, a limb shrinker is worn, helping
the limb gradually shrink to a conical shape so it will fit more naturally
into an artificial limb.
After several months with a temporary prosthesis, a cast is made for
a permanent one. This custom-fit prosthesis gives patients the mobility
and freedom they once enjoyed and can enjoy again on their own.
The Luckett familys goal is to provide personalized care that
will result in satisfied patient outcome. We want patients to
roll in (in a wheelchair) and walk out, said Luckett.
For more information on Louisville Prosthetics,
contact the Lucketts at (502) 584-2959 or visit: www.louisvilleprosthetics.com.
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