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Heather feels privileged to be able to speak of the hugely inspirational work carried out by the Barr Foundation and the transformational effect they had in improving her own quality of life.
In 2004 Heather met with the Foundations president, Anthony Barr for the first time and discovered their primary focus in addition to assisting amputees receive prosthetic rehabilitation, was to advocate a revolutionary amputation procedure known as the Ertl procedure.
In conversation with Anthony his wealth of experience, knowledge and depth of commitment to the amputee cause made a great impression on Heather.
The Barr Foundation is committed to the full accessibility and freedom of medical treatment for amputees throughout the world ... and are recognizing the crucial role that information regarding available medical treatment can have in order to significantly improve the lives of many people.
Their drive to improve the lives of amputees worldwide was founded in personal experience of the difficulties encountered. It is to their credit that they have used their own experiences of amputee issues as a catalyst to learn vital lessons and best practice which they now share with such love and commitment benefiting the lives of so many. Anthony's own father underwent and benefited from the Ertl Procedure which is described in the hardcover book, Whole Again, published in 1980.
As a result of Heather’s enlightening conversation with Anthony and the gentle urging of her family, particularly her sister Fiona, Heather underwent the Ertl procedure. Surgery was carried out in California by Jan Ertl in April 2006 and Heather commented later.
Jan Ertl is not only an "Angel from Heaven" but he is a genius regarding limb amputations and revisions. Having needed a revision for years I was nervous of taking so much time out from my work and from time spent with my daughter. The Ertl technique enabled me to have a much quicker and less painful recovery. I had the operation on April 1st and I am now skiing better than ever as well as experiencing minimal phantom pain. Jan stopped 99% of the excruciating nerve pain I was experiencing as well as reshaping my leg by removing excess tissue and building a more solid platform on my limb which enables me to have much more comfortably fitted limbs … giving me a better quality of life overall.
“The Barr Foundation is pleased to have the support of Heather in promoting proper amputation surgery in order for all amputees to better achieve optimum prosthetic rehabilitation outcomes. Heather is an inspiration to all people who have experienced limb loss around the world.”
Anthony T Barr, President of the Barr Foundation:
"The Ertl Procedure relieved Heather from tremendous pain that she had endured for years subsequent to her initial amputation in 1993 as the result of a motorcycle accident in the UK. Amputees can become whole again, utilizing today's advancement of prosthetic component technology PROVIDED, they receive proper amputation surgery as a foundation".
It was deeply saddening to hear the devastating news of the sudden passing of Anthony Barr on March 5th 2007. It is hard to put into words what a wonderful kind man he was. He transformed the lives of so many people including my own. I can say with certainty that he lived and breathed everyday to make a difference to those in need. A true hero and a shining light to inspire us all to carry on his important work.
Tony was the strongest advocate for the Ertl procedure and we will all make sure we continue to shout his message from the roof tops.
We honour you Tony, you will forever inspire us.
Love Heather Mills
This page is dedicated to the memory of Anthony Barr.
Barr Foundation: www.oandp.com/barr
Ertl Procedure: www.ErtlReconstruction.com
Patient's review: http://ertlreconstruction.com/documents/61.html
Whole Again book: http://oandp.com/resources/organizations/barr/donate/barr-donate.htm