Angel Marie, the pony was stepped on by her mother shortly after she was born. Her front legs were so severely damaged, she was too crippled to walk. It was a challenge Derrick Campana, the so-called “Dr. Doolittle” of animal prosthetics, was ready to tackle.
The certified orthotist and prosthetist at Animal Ortho Care in Sterling, Virginia fashioned prosthetic front legs using highly durable, medical grade plastics, with the support of Plastics Make it Possible.
He says watching Angel Marie take her first steps was emotional. “Seeing her walk, and having her here today walking is just a dream come true. A miracle,” he said.
Owner Lennie Green credits campana with saving Angel Marie’s life, adding “if it wasn’t for that, she wouldn’t have made it.”
Campana started his career in making orthotics for humans, and saw a niche for helping animals. He’s become the go-to person for animals in need worldwide– he’s even fashioned prosthetic limbs for an elephant in Thailand that had its foot blown off by land mines.
While he is not a veterinarian, Campana says his practice is a cost-effective alternative to more invasive procedures at the vet.
The future in prosthetics, he says, is likely in 3D printing, which he says is costly now, but may become more affordable in years to come.
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