Miss Tomi is one of those patients who can’t help but leave a lasting impression on your heart! Tomi’s story is one of Hope, Faith & Determination, which is exactly what she titled the short story she published as a way to share her story and help others going through an amputation.
Tomi was a professional tap dancer for 40 years and lived a delightful life. Tomi and her husband, who was also a professional dancer, owned a flower shop and upholstery store as well. Her parents helped with the businesses while the couple was on the road. They enjoyed their life and loved show business. However, her husband grew ill after battling a cardiac issue and passed away.
After the passing of her husband, Tomi sold their shops and eventually stopped dancing. She began experiencing some health issues and eventually found herself facing a left leg below knee amputation. Tomi is a fighter and worked hard in rehab to prepare for her prosthetic leg. She was well known to the therapists in the rehab center she went to after her amputation and they knew she would achieve her goals. After successfully completing rehab and being able to return home, she began working towards receiving her prosthesis. Unfortunately, she had a hypersensitive limb and receiving her prosthesis was proving to be quite a challenge.
Eric, one of our road team Prosthetists, visited Tomi at her house and the two of them developed a plan to help ease her sensitivity and eventually allow for her to wear a prosthesis. It took almost two years, but Tomi finally received her prosthetic leg and was not only able to tolerate it, but has mastered it. Tomi likes to refer to Eric as “Mr. Sunshine” for brightening her days and making it feel like she “never lost her leg”. She’s finally walking without her walker and is enjoying her freedom again. Thanks to her many years of dancing and staying active, she was easily able to regain her flexibility and likes to show off by walking backwards, touching her toes, and even jogging a little.
After everything she has gone through, Tomi is approaching this next phase in her life with a new sense of purpose. She finds pure pleasure and happiness in helping others who have faced or are facing amputation and feels that this is her “new calling and purpose”. Tomi is currently planning on becoming a Peer Visitor, so that she can continue to help other patients not only cope with and overcome their amputations, but realize their own strengths and find their own determination to succeed. At 80 years young, there’s no slowing Tomi down now!
Tomi’s book can be purchased here:
Hope Faith & Determination: – A Short Story
by Miss Tomi Hensley et al.