SPRINGFIELD — The world-renowned prosthetist portrayed by Morgan Freeman in the Dolphin Tale feature films will educate amputees in Springfield on Thursday, Jan. 31.
Kevin Carroll, a certified prosthetist and developer of the first prosthetic tail for a dolphin, will speak with local amputees and show them what’s available with prosthetic technology and what’s on the horizon. The event will be hosted by the Hanger Clinic, 1985 Main St., Springfield from 5 to 7 p.m.
Carroll is acclaimed for his work in creating the first prosthetic tail fluke for Winter, a young Atlantic bottlenose dolphin who got caught in a crab trap near Cape Canaveral when she was just three months old. Her tail fluke eventually came off, as it was severely damaged by the trap’s rope entanglement. Winter received round-the-clock medical attention at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium to save her life. Having survived, she adapted to a less efficient, damaging side-to-side swimming style, as there was no tail fluke to give her thrust. Thanks to the ingenuity of Carroll and his colleague, Dan Strzempka, Winter became the first dolphin to have her entire tail fluke replaced with a prosthetic device. Additionally, the unique levels of research and development necessary to fit a prosthetic tail on a dolphin resulted in the development of WintersGel, a new gel material that is benefiting human amputee patients worldwide. Winter’s story of survival has become an inspiration to people all over the world.
Carroll travels both nationally and internationally, educating clinicians and prosthetic users who work with and who are the most challenging amputation cases, and has appeared internationally on news broadcasts such as Dateline, 20/20, CBS Early Show, NBC Nightly News, ABC’s Good Morning America, and the Discovery Channel.
Springfield residents interested in meeting with Carroll should call (413) 313-5608. For more information on Hanger Clinic, visit www.hangerclinic.com.