The Single Tweet That Saved a Foot

Early in our careers, we couldn’t have imagined the power and impact the Internet and social media might have on our practice.

Today, we can’t imagine not embracing both.

Dramatic lessons were driven home several months ago when we received a desperate tweet from a young woman in Maryland, expressing concern for her mother’s future.

Virtually overnight, life changed in every way for Juanita “Nita” McDaniel-Williams, who had been told to prepare for further amputation of her foot and possibly leg.

Nita already had succumbed to the loss of her left toes, during a procedure she likened to being “butchered” by a former health care provider on the East Coast.

But when her daughter discovered Dr. Jihad A. Mustapha online and the pioneering work he was performing to prevent amputations – and reached out to him with a tweet – Nita’s future was reversed for the better.

“Bring her to me,” Dr. Mustapha told Nita’s daughter in a phone call he made in direct response to the tweet.

In a moment that might someday qualify for a Hallmark movie outtake, Nita climbed into the backseat of her car that same evening, and with her daughter and three grandchildren along for the ride, rode 12 hours through the night to reach Michigan.

And since, has decided to stay!

“I needed to see this man they were calling ‘The Leg Saver,’” Nita recalls. “And what I discovered was a doctor who pays attention like no other. And who has alternatives to amputation. With him, I feel safe.”

Though Nita’s three daughters wonder whether mom should move back to Maryland, Nita is set on remaining in Michigan. That’s how strongly she believes in the methodologies being recommended for her by Dr. Mustapha and his colleagues and staff.

While Nita’s story is full of drama, we’d like to underscore that at Advanced Cardiac & Vascular Amputation Prevention Centers, we are committed to treating every one of our patients exactly like we continue to treat Nita – with uncommon compassion and genuine empathy.

We specialize in treating complex heart conditions and peripheral artery disease, performing procedures that open up blocked vessels to improve circulation in legs and feet.

While we can’t make wholesale promises regarding amputations, we consider it a sacred responsibility to explore any and all alternatives to amputation.

Indeed, we continue to scour the planet to collaborate with like-minded doctors and researchers, men and women anxious to plumb the depths of science if even one more person might be spared an amputation and all of its associated health concerns.

Every time we look into the anxious eyes of a patient for whom amputation has been recommended, we are only more resolved to mine the medical landscape for other viable options.

The successes we’ve realized so far inform us that the work we do is vital. And we hope we can count on your support as we continue laboring hard to alter the very course of humanity.

Sometimes, our progress is rooted in space-age technology.

But in quiet moments, we’ve come to realize that it can also be tied to the subtle power of a single tweet.