Northbrook Mechanic, Amputee Gets Prosthetic Help From Central American Group ROMP

When a pair of Chicago prosthetists founded the Range of Motion Project in 2005 to provide artificial limbs to amputees in Central America, they picked Guatemala to serve as its hub of operations.

But the group’s reach extends well beyond that nation—even to local spots like Northbrook, where 24-year-old auto mechanic Justin Southwick has plied his trade while in a prosthetic leg made possible by ROMP.

The local connection came about after ROMP co-founder Eric Neufeld connected Southwick, a Lake Zurich native, with David Speers, a certified prosthetist and orthotist working in the Schaumburg office of Scheck & Siress.

Southwick’s insurance company refused to cover the cost of a prosthetic leg. Neufeld, also a Scheck & Siress certified prosthetist and orthotist, told Speers he would send him the necessary parts, and Speers agreed to donate time to make a prosthesis and all adjustments as needed.

“David won’t let you leave unless you know you’re walking right,” said Southwick. “He’ll make some adjustments so that it’s as perfect as it possibly can be before you leave his office. It’s nice to know that he truly cares.”

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