Family Shares Overcoming Medical Hardships Following Loved One's Amputation

3 years 3 months 3 weeks ago Tuesday, April 03 2018 Apr 3, 2018 April 03, 2018 9:24 PM April 03, 2018 in Health

MCALLEN – One Rio Grande Valley family is taking a loss and turning it into a gain.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS’ Heart of the Valley series reporter Angelo Vargas shows us the toll a prosthetic can have on a family and their fight to push forward.

In the Accion Rehabilitation's prosthetics laboratory, every cut is unique. It's personal to those wearing it.

It's intended for a wife, who never stops or quits.

"We didn't have insurance, so he couldn't get like wound care and stuff like that. The nurses will show me at the hospital and then I would have to do that afterward. So carrying around Band-Aids and gauze,” said concerned wife Pamela Montalvo.

It’s for a son who is always there.

"Whatever happens I want to be with him through it. When he was going to have surgery on his arm I wanted to be there. And while they were rolling him, I was in the bed with him and I started to cry a bit because I had to leave and didn't know what was going to happen,” said Nicholas Montalvo.

It’s a prosthetist who listens and guides.

"I've had some patients pass away on me,” said Certified Prosthetist James Beggs. “And it's heartbreaking to watch it because a lot of cases it's preventable because they can change their lifestyle, their habits and everything else and get better.”

Accion Rehabilitation helped Hugo Montalvo save his life.  He's lived with diabetes for about 20 years.

"I lost a limb because of diabetes. I did not take care of myself. I wasn't choosing the right path to keeping healthy or eating healthy,” he told us.

Montalvo's family has a history of diabetes. He said he lost family members to the disease.

He lost his leg due to a small wound on his foot. He said he didn't pay attention to it until it was too late.

"In that process, I started losing limbs like my toe, my leg,” he said.

Montalvo said he’s not the only one who lost a limb from diabetes in the Rio Grande Valley.

"Ninety-five percent of my patients are diabetic,” said Beggs.

Beggs and his team create custom-fitted limbs like Montalvo’s. He also has to a prosthetic leg due to a motorcycle accident he was in.

He said his connection with his diabetes patients is also personal. He knows turning to a healthy lifestyle can improve symptoms.

"I myself am diabetic, and it's been very difficult but I cut out carbs almost completely out of my life and I've lost 30 pounds in three months,” Beggs said.

This is the example the Montalvo's want to show their son, Nicholas.

"Watch out for your dad, and be there and make sure that you help them with what they are going through with your mom and your dad, with your family,” said Nicholas Montalvo.

Montalvo said he's gained the confidence to stand up and let his family guide him in a healthier direction.

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