Rachel and Clementine
Rachel Owens has bright eyes and a warm disposition. From a glance, you would never expect that this beautiful 34-year-old woman had been through such an ordeal over the past three years. In August of 2013, Rachel fell from her roof, badly breaking her left ankle. After her injury (known as a pilon fracture) became severely infected and could not heal, Rachel was connected with orthopedic surgeon Dr. David Hahn of the Colorado Limb Consultants.
Dr. Hahn quickly placed Rachel in an external fixator, a cage-like device intended to help the broken bones in her ankle finally heal. The fixator proved to be cumbersome and unsuccessful for Rachel. Instead, Dr. Hahn proposed a brand new medical procedure – 3D printed titanium to replace her missing bone. In June of 2015, Rachel became the first patient at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center to receive this revolutionary surgery.
Today, Rachel is walking without any aid, and is back to feeling more like herself. She is able to once again parent her two young children, Kate and Jack, and be more active in their lives. She hopes for a day where she will no longer be in pain, and works with Chris Jones of Rebound Prosthetics to develop inserts and braces to help her ankle. Rachel would want to remind anyone facing difficult times to remember the power of staying positive and to take “one day, and even sometimes one hour, at a time”.
Clementine may be small, but she is fierce! Days after competing at Nationals for Flyball (a canine relay-based agility sport), the 13-year-old Australian Cattle Dog began to limp. After being assessed by her rehab vet, Clementine went to the ER for further tests. Clementine was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, and two days later her back left leg was amputated and she began chemotherapy.
No stranger to hard work, Clementine bounced back from surgery and tackled chemotherapy treatment head on! Six weeks after her amputation, she was back on the Flyball field! In addition to being a decorated athlete, Clementine also serves as a service dog for her mother who is hard of hearing. It is safe to say that Clementine epitomizes the expression “man’s best friend”.