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Register names Outdoor Sportsperson of the Year

December 31, 2012

The Orange County Register / David Whiting

'Blade runner' gains traction in her second chance at life

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November 23, 2010

Human Designs YouTube Channel

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Nov. 11, 2010

The Orange County Register / David Whiting

Human Designs Prosthetics and Orthotics Awarded ABC Accreditation

May 13, 2010

Human Designs Press Release

Human Designs Volunteers at the Tour de Cure in Long Beach

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Human Designs Press Release

Paralyzed woman finishes Boston Marathon

April 19, 2010

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Ex-firefighter longs to help others again

November 28, 2009

Sun Post News / Debbie L. Sklar

One leg or none, yet plenty to stand on

October 30, 2009

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A Day in the Life of... Beth Sanden

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Coast Magazine / Jessica Forsyth

Orange Slices: A New Leg

September 05, 2009

The Orange County Register / Michael Goulding

Winning Attitude: Obstacles aren't barriers for Long Beach's Most Inspiring Students

May 28, 2009

Long Beach Press-Telegram (CA) / Kevin Butler

Katrina Victim Gets a New Leg

November 24, 2005

Long Beach Press-Telegram (CA) / Karen Robes

Leg Loss Doesn't Stop Bodyboarder

January 15, 2001

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Jami Goldman's Run for the Gold -- on Prosthetic Legs

November 17, 1999

Business Week / John M. Williams

 

More News

Ex-firefighter longs to help others again

November, 28, 2009

Sun Post News / Debbie L. Sklar

One leg or none, yet plenty to stand on

October 30, 2009

The Orange County Register / David Whiting

A Day in the Life of... Beth Sanden

October 16, 2009

Coast Magazine / Jessica Forsyth

Orange Slices: A New Leg

September 05, 2009

The Orange County Register / Michael Goulding

Winning Attitude: Obstacles aren't barriers for Long Beach's Most Inspiring Students

May 28, 2009

Long Beach Press-Telegram (CA) / Kevin Butler

Katrina Victim Gets a New Leg

November 24, 2005

Long Beach Press-Telegram (CA) / Karen Robes

Leg Loss Doesn't Stop Bodyboarder

January 15, 2001

Long Beach Press-Telegram (CA) / Paul Young

Jami Goldman's Run for the Gold -- on Prosthetic Legs

November 17, 1999

Business Week / John M. Williams

 

KATRINA VICTIM GETS A NEW LEG

MEDICINE: THE HURRICANE POSTPONED HIS PLANS, BUT THE WAIT IS OVER.

 

November 24, 2005 (Long Beach, CA) - Minh Dang's home and livelihood were not the only things he lost in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Dang, who lost his left leg to cancer two years ago, was scheduled to have his ill-fitting artificial leg replaced with a permanent one.

But days before the appointment, the Category 4 storm swept through his New Orleans hometown and destroyed homes and businesses, including the clinic. Dang escaped the storm by driving out to California with friends.

Dang's hope for a new artificial leg seemed lost.

But last week, Dang, 42, finally received his new leg -- a $20,000 prosthetic limb -- at no cost, thanks to Human Designs, a prosthetic and orthotic lab based in Long Beach.

"It's easier, much easier," Dang said as his hand rested on the artificial limb.

"He took to it right away," said Eric Ferraco, president of Human Designs and certified prosthetic orthopedist. "With physical therapy, he's just going to improve."

Born in Binh Thuan, Vietnam, Dang fled by boat when communists took over his country. He ended up in Malaysia before flying to the United States, where he lived in New Jersey and Modesto. Fifteen years ago, Dang settled in New Orleans, where he worked as a fisherman.

Then in 2003, doctors found osteosarcoma, a cancer that infects the bone, in his tibia and were forced to amputate Dang's left leg to save his life.

Before the storm, Dang spent more than a year walking on a temporary limb, which was too short for him. He left New Orleans with nothing but the clothes he wore, relying on assistance from the American Red Cross and his friend Nhan Nguyen's family in Westminster.

"I didn't bring anything," Dang said. "I had no money, nothing."

Enter Human Designs and Ferraco, who is in the business of creating artificial limbs for hundreds of patients annually. In September, Ferraco received a call from the Orange County chapter of the American Red Cross and immediately agreed to help.

At $20,000, Dang's new limb costs as much as a new car and has the mechanical makings of one.
Before, if Dang was walking and wanted to run, he would have to skip and wait until his prosthetic caught up with the rest of his body in order to put his weight on it. The new limb now has hydraulic control that automatically adjusts to different gait speeds, making the transition from walking to running more fluid. The high-performance Mauch knee and a carbon graphite foot will allow Dang to run, bike and play basketball, Ferraco said.

"The difference is night and day," he said.

Dang said the first thing he plans to with the new limb is take long walks with his friends, something he was not able to do before because he tired too quickly.

"I'm very thankful for the American Red Cross and the Orange County Rescue Mission for providing the linkage and for Human Designs," he said.