Today marks an exciting milestone for IIOP’s five second-semester students as they celebrate receiving their coveted white coats and took a professional oath to serve their patients and the O&P community. We were lucky to have the current President of the American Board for Certification of Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics, Anthony Ward, in attendance to address the students about some of the highlights of being a professional in their chosen field and the changes he’s seen throughout his years in the industry.
Family and friends of the students didn’t feel completely left out, as they joined in via Zoom. The five IIOP students that were proudly celebrated today are: Savanna Stumpf, Ian Reyes, Rene Respicio, Peter Marx, and Jacob Sliman. They have now reached the point in their curriculum where they will start to see patient models and simulate real patient scenarios. They are on their way to look and feel prepared in their bright white coats!
The first graduation ceremony in 2021 was an important celebration that the students and staff certainly deserved after a very tumultuous 2020. On Thursday April 29th, the most recent group of IIOP graduates were joined by their families and friends to be awarded for their hard work and perseverance.
Our special guest at this graduation ceremony was Gary Miracle, who has a personal reason for wanting to speak to a group of aspiring prosthetists. Gary tells a story of life-saving measures and loss of everything but hope. He lost both his arms and legs after a severe case of the flu, leading to sepsis and a 12 day coma. This all happened so quickly, Gary’s wife had to make the decision to amputate his limbs to save her husband’s life. Even despite her quick decision, there was still a very slim chance that Gary would survive.
Despite these odds, Gary survived his illness and on Thursday he drove himself to the ceremony, flanked by all four of his children. He made our guests cry one second from his story, and then turn right around and laugh at his well-timed jokes. He spoke about the role that a Prosthetist can have in changing a human’s life, and some of the battles he has faced with his still-recent amputations. Rest assured there wasn’t anybody in attendance that looked at Gary as anything other than an inspiration to all.
It is always a treasure to see another group of exceedingly competent graduates leaving to make differences in other’s lives. We at IIOP wish the best of luck to the Class of April 2021, Master of Science in Prosthetics and Orthotics:
If you would like to learn more about Gary Miracle and his story you can watch the following videos:
The mission of the International Institute of Orthotics and Prosthetics (IIOP) is to provide comprehensive academic programs that promote student success in a manner for which they can utilize the acquired knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values to be competent and ethical practitioners of allied health.