How New Hope Changed Tammy Sellers' Life
If you're a patient at New Hope, you're family - and you shouldn't be treated like anything less. Because of our customer care mentality, we're proud to say we have the most loyal patients in town who continually come back to us for a lifetime. One of our most dedicated customers is Tammy Sellers from Little Rock, Arkansas. Her journey of hopping from one Prosthetic company to the next, and eventually making New Hope her "home", is truly inspirational. Here is her story.
"I have to take a few minutes to tell you about an amazing example of how all medical offices should treat their patients. I started going to New Hope Prosthetics & Orthotics in 2009. When I originally started, I was a recent below knee amputee. I was physically and mentally drained and had been shuffled through the medical system for ten years - resulting in eleven major surgeries that culminated in the loss of my leg. I was accustomed to being treated like a mere number, not a real person. Staff and doctors from other offices had left me feeling insignificant, and my medical needs were most often met with uncaring attitudes.
I wasn’t prepared for the experience I would find when I arrived for my first appointment at New Hope Prosthetics and Orthotics.
I was met at the front window by a smiling lady who was not only helpful, but went out of her way to be accommodating. I will never forget how shocked my husband and I were. This kind office lady even asked about our long trip and offered to get me something to drink. I learned, later, that this wonderful lady is Becky Howell.
The entire staff was amazing. When I say I was treated like a family member, I couldn't be more serious. I was still grieving the loss of my leg, and to put it bluntly, I was afraid. The staff seemed to know and understand exactly what I was experiencing inside. Gabe was the next person I met. He had a huge smile and was very friendly. He immediately took over and continued to put me at ease. I was literally swept up with emotion and felt secure. Over the next five years, my friendship grew with these wonderful people. I was indeed treated more like a family member than a patient. They were amazing. Whatever need I had with my prosthetic, they went above and beyond the call of duty to make my situation the best it could be. Becky became a friend who is a priceless jewel in my life. Anytime I called needing to come in for adjustments or even a problem, it was “no problem”. She would get me right in to see someone to address the need.
Later, I did a little television commercial so I could tell everyone about this amazing group who literally gave me my life back. I still get emotional when I think of my fragile mental state when I first walked in the doors. They basically wrapped their arms around me and said, "worry no more; we are going to help you". I learned to trust them at their word.
Then, in 2014, after losing my father in November the previous year, my mother was diagnosed with cancer. I was again devastated, to say the least. I began the grueling task of taking my mother three times a week on a 150 mile round trip for treatments in Jonesboro. I was desperate to save her life. I found myself in need of adjustments and liners and was unable to make the trip to Little Rock to see my friends at New Hope. So, I made the difficult decision to find an office in Jonesboro so I could get the adjustments and supplies I needed.
This was the beginning of a terrible awakening. I realized immediately how much Becky had spoiled me. I was no longer in the company of loving individuals who actually cared. It was all about insurance, money, and unavailable appointment times. My schedule - and the fact that my mother was dying - had no effect on the new prosthetic office staff I had found. Again, I was thrust back into the world of uncaring, cold staff members who were borderline rude at times.
For example, one day I called ahead to explain that I needed to pick up my liners and I would have my mother with me. I asked if they could have them ready. I knew she wouldn’t be able to wait in the car very long because she was already very weak. They told me on the phone that they would be ready. I arrived at 1:30 to pick up the liners. At 2:00 I was still waiting for the liners. So I told them I had to leave because my mother was sick in the car (she just had treatments). The girl said, "okay, you want to make another appointment?" She was so uncaring and unbending. I said, "well, if you can’t give them to me, I suppose I’ll have to, but I’m sure I’ll have my mother with me as well. I have to take her to her cancer treatments". She said, "well let me know if you want an appointment". I left in tears without my liners. I had holes in my liners at that time, and they were very uncomfortable.
At a later time, I had an appointment to get a new socket they casted for me a month before. When I arrived for my scheduled appointment they said, "why are you here today? Do you need an adjustment?" I said, "no, I need my new temporary socket to be fitted". After a long wait, I was told "I’m sorry, but I guess someone threw the cast away, or it got lost because we don’t have anything for you". They re-casted it, and another month long wait followed. It was one mishap, and uncaring employee after another.
My mother lost her battle to cancer, and all my efforts to save her were for naught. When my mother passed away, Becky contacted me to comfort me and say how sorry she was - even though I hadn't seen her in a long time and was no longer a patient there. She is amazing!
I called Becky yesterday to check on her and wish her a Merry Christmas. We got to talking and I said, "Becky, can I come home?" She started laughing and said, "you sure can". I am so excited! I’m going back home to New Hope - to the most caring professionals I have ever had the pleasure of dealing with. I can hardly wait until my January appointment. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. If I had one wish this holiday season, it's that more amputees could find these wonderful, caring professionals who have changed my life. They offer something to amputees that insurance and money can’t buy; they offer love and concern for their patients."
- Tammy Sellers