Hanger patient and below-knee amputee Steve Mitchell
dancing his way to victory and inspiring others along the
Clearwater, Fla., April 11, 2012 - In 1990 when Steve
Mitchell was just 28-years-old, he was out on a boat with
friends when something went terribly wrong. A passenger on
the boat Mitchell was driving started to fall overboard, so
Mitchell grabbed for him, but they both landed in the water.
The boat propeller caught Mitchell's right leg, causing
severe damage and necessitating an amputation below-the-knee.
Mitchell was in the hospital for two-and-a-half weeks, and
then home recovering for another two weeks. Always active,
Mitchell was determined to not let the accident deter him
from participating in the activities he enjoyed. Six months
after receiving his first prosthetic leg, he was back in the
gym, and he eventually got back to swimming, golfing, and
horseback riding. Today, Mitchell continues to thrive with
custom-designed prosthetic technology made by his Clearwater,
Florida-based Hanger Clinic prosthetist Robert Dixon, so much
so that this summer Mitchell took on a new challenge and
started participating in competitive ballroom dancing.
After taking his oldest daughter to dance lessons and a
little nudging from his wife, Mitchell began taking lessons
himself. He and his wife use the lessons as a source of
stress release. A couple of months after starting the
lessons, Mitchell competed in his first dance competition,
the Tampa Bay Classic, and took home the "Newcomer Award".
Mitchell strives to be an example to others with disabilities
by showing with enough determination and drive, you can do
anything you set your mind to. He encourages others to pursue
their dreams and to not be defined by their disability.
Mitchell recently shared his inspirational story with several
of his local media outlets. Following is a resulting news
story from the Clearwater Beacon:
About Hanger: Founded in 1861 by the first amputee of the
Civil War, Hanger Clinic, a business unit of Hanger
Orthopedic Group, Inc. (NYSE: HGR), owns and operates 54
patient care clinics in Florida and 700+ nationwide. The
certified clinicians of Hanger provide patients with the
latest in orthotic and prosthetic solutions, including
microprocessor devices for those with limb loss and
neuromuscular technologies for those with paralysis due to
stroke, MS and other debilitating conditions. After a
six-month celebration of its 150th anniversary, on February
1, 2012 Hanger unveiled a comprehensive new brand identity to
position the company for the future. Subject to shareholder
approval at the Company's annual shareholder meeting in May
2012, the new brand includes renaming the parent company from
Hanger Orthopedic Group, Inc. to "Hanger, Inc.", and
referring to the patient care business as "Hanger Clinic"
(formerly Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics).www.hanger.com.
Jennifer Bittner, Hanger Orthopedic Group
Krisita Burket, Hanger Orthopedic Group