Archived Story

Alabaster to Honduras

Published 4:50pm Friday, August 17, 2012

By SANDRA THAMES / Community Columnist

At the age of 13, Adam Williams watched an inspirational story about artificial limbs and said to himself, “That’s what I want to do.”

Adam Williams adjusts an artificial limb at Next Step Prosthetics in Alabaster. (contributed)

Never wavering from his goal, Adam finished at Hewitt-Trussville High School in 1999. At that time there were only five available orthotics and prosthetics schools in the United States. Being the “beachy” kind of guy, he quickly chose Cal State over such locations as Illinois and Connecticut.

Many degrees, certification levels and awards later, Williams had completed all training. In 2009, his first location of NextStep Prosthetics and Orthotics was on Industrial Road. A short year ago, the business moved to its present location on U.S. 31 near the hospital, the nursing home and many doctors.

All the assistants and office personnel are very down to earth. Adam’s mom anchors the office and helps Adam remember where he’s supposed to be at a certain time.

Williams is single, lives in a Red Mountain condo with a beautiful Birmingham view and loves kayaking. He enjoys scenic kayaking on peaceful rivers. He is a determined middle child with an older brother Jason, 33, and younger sister, Amanda, age 25.

You probably read recently of the trip to Honduras taken by a class at Calera High School. The teacher of the workshop center and Williams, along with several students, were able to pre-build 15 legs to be provided to amputees. Since prosthetic legs are always custom built, this was like building a spec house.

Upon arrival, folks had been screened, measured, etc., to find a limb that would fit them.

“The heartbreak when a limb could not be matched to a particular person was devastating,” said Williams. “But the joy of a good match was an experience everyone should witness.

“I feel privileged to have found a career that has afforded me the opportunity to help meet the needs of people,” Williams said. “I get to help restore peoples’ lives by replacing their limbs. I love doing this!”

 

Community columnist Sandra Thames can be reached by e–mail at bobthames1942@yahoo.com.

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