SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Shoes might not seem like a big deal to many — but to amputees it’s something many struggle to find.
Shreveport Prosthetics noticed this need and now is asking the community for help. The business is looking for new or gently used shoes tennis shoes or closed toed shoes that have a flat surface and traction.
The common sizes they work with are men sizes 10-13 and women sizes 8-10.
You can drop off shoes at their office at 1801 Fairfield Avenue Suite 301 in Shreveport.
Last year the facility met a patient in therapy who lost everything he owned including his shoes in a house fire. They reached out on social media to ask the public for shoe donations.
Since then they’ve met more amputees that don’t have an adequate pair of shoes to wear.
“Last October we found that people were really responsive,” said patient coordinator, Lauren Holland. “People donated shoes, but we want to bring that back because since then we’ve seen a lot of patients who either can’t afford shoes or when they’re amputated they throw away one of the shoes because they don’t think they’ll ever use them again.”
Gerald Fortenberry is a bilateral amputee. He suffers from diabetes and was having complications with his legs. He ended up having his first amputation in 2006, and in 2011 his other leg was amputated.
Fortenberry said while it was hard to deal with at first, but thanks to family support he was able to gain his confidence back and get back to doing the things he used to do.
He says finding a good pair of shoes is important for amputees, because each pair of shoes they put on can be difficult.
“It’s a little bit of work,” said Fortenberry. “You have to be patient with yourself, and don’t get frustrated because sometimes it a little harder with one pair of shoes than the other pair of shoes.”
Fortenberry appreciates Shreveport Prosthetics wanting to fulfill this need for him and other amputees in the area.
“Once you become handicap as they say, outside of your family members, too many people don’t really care,” he said. “To know someone cares enough to collect shoes for the disabled, that’s absolutely wonderful.”
Over the last year Shreveport Prosthetics has collected ten pairs of shoes, but they are hoping to collect up to 100 pairs of shoes.