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With a new leg, Tisdale taking steps to recovery

BY JENNI CARLSON Modified: October 22, 2008 at 12:37 am •  Published: October 22, 2008
I’m still Wayman Tisdale.”

He felt the same way when he woke up after the amputation.

"The biggest confidence is when I came out of surgery and I was still the same me,” he said. "I’m still the same me.”

That was evident Tuesday afternoon.

Tisdale had an appointment at Sabolich to tweak his prosthetic, a high-tech contraption. He wears a "smart knee” with the ability to be programmed to each individual, and it adjusts to the user’s activity.

The resistance, for example, changes when Tisdale goes from walking to climbing stairs.

Body has changed, but not his spirit
After a few changes, Tisdale walked into the hall with Sabolich and his prosthetist, Kyle Wagner.

"If it starts beeping and vibrating at you, Wayman, just take a few seconds for it to stop,” Wagner said as Tisdale moved slowly down the long hallway. "Don’t keep going.”

Tisdale turned around and walked back toward Wagner, then broke out in a little shimmy dance step.

"Be careful,” Sabolich said.

Tisdale flashed that familiar grin.

"First time he went down the hall,” Sabolich said, "he about fell over.”

Tisdale looks steady on his feet now, but still has much to learn.

"Scott,” Tisdale asked Sabolich, "is there a special trick to turning?”

"You’ve got to do that choppy thing,” Sabolich said, demonstrating by planting his foot and taking little steps with his other foot until he was turned. "Try to pivot around your good leg and have your prosthetic go around.”

Tisdale nodded.

"That’s the secret,” he said. "That’s what I’m going for, Scott.”

Tisdale’s body has changed.

His spirit has not.

"It’s pretty amazing,” he said, "that we’ve gotten this far.”

The biggest confidence is when I came out of surgery and I was still the same me.”

Wayman Tisdale
former Sooner basketball star

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