COLUMBIA CITY — Kent Turnbow, an American Board Certified prosthetist and one of Columbia City Rotary Club’s newest member, gave Rotarians and inspired presentation about a September trip last year to Honduras to present a man named Dionicio with prosthetic arms and a leg.
Dionicio lost both arms and a leg in a construction accident when a piece of rebar he was handling touched a high voltage electrical wire.
A family man with six children, Dionicio waited six years following the accident for a solution to his disability: to receive the prosthetics through the International Christian Hospice.
Until Turnbow arrived in early September, Dionicio relied on crutches with slings for mobility, but required assistance from his wife, Maria, to be his arms and hands.
Turnbow arrived at San Pedro Sulo Airport Sept. 10 with two special bags, one containing two prosthetic arms and the other containing a prosthetic leg. He alerted airport TSA in advance about the unusual contents of his carry-on luggage.
Turnbow told Rotarians and showed them with photos and videos Dionicio’s first steps with his new leg, and also shared video of him eating and writing with his new appendages.
It was the first time since his accident six years ago that Dionicio could complete such every day tasks we take for granted. Turnbow helped Dionicio arrange for three months of occupational and physical therapy, which culminated in the Honduran being able to resume painting and handyman work.
After 20 years in the artificial limb business, Turnbow realized his dream of owning his own facility when he opened Turnbow Prosthetics two years ago in Columbia City. The business is located just off U.S. 30 and Connexion Way, adjacent to the former Sears building.
Turnbow lost his right leg at age 14 in a 1977 automobile mishap in Allen County. As an amputee himself, he developed a passion at an early age to help others and to work to make prosthetics more comfortable and functional.
Turnbow’s business aspiration has been to develop Turnbow Prosthetics into “one of the premier providers in Northeast Indiana” by following the credo “to restore lives of those affected by loss of limbs.”
His trip to Honduras five months ago indeed helped Dionicio and his family restore their lives.