As a licensed, professional counselor, Wells Petras knows a thing or two about helping others cope. He’s worked with all kinds of people – families, individuals, couples, kids, retirees. He also really means it when he says he understands that people go through a series of experiences when they have limb loss. He knows because he’s been there.
Wells has been a below knee amputee for the past 16 years after falling off a ladder at work. He understands it may take some time to embrace the “new normal,” a stage every amputee goes through.
“What they did before, they have to re-learn. But there’s also opportunity to try new things they have never tried before,” says Wells. “The biggest barrier is not wanting to try. If you are willing to try something new, it can become something positive.”
That approach served him well when UNYQ asked Wells to participate in his first-ever and —Wells might laugh and say, quite possibly only-ever — fashion show.
“I’ve always been a positive person but my family really thinks this is hilarious,” said Wells ahead of his strut down the runway.
To top it off, he donned a character of “Darth Vader,” embracing a little bit of the dark side and striking a pose in front of the bank of photographers that had the entire audience cheering him on! Not what you might expect from someone with a bit of pre-show jitters, but all Wells, all the way, when the time came.
His living-in-the-moment spotlight was also part of proving his positivity and attitude about embracing something he had never tried before. Like wearing a one-of-a-kind UNYQ cover himself, the same kind he has the opportunity to tell other patients about at his day-job – yes, the one that doesn’t involve camera flashes but does involve a touch of fashion via the UNYQ Armor™ line of prosthetic covers.
Wells serves as director of Patient Care Coordination for the Center for Orthotic & Prosthetic Care, headquartered in Durham, NC and with 26 locations across the South and Midwest.
Speaking of UNYQ Armor™, Wells said, “I’ve seen the immediate reaction from everyone who puts one on. It’s amazing because there are a series of covers you can get with so many design choices. They even have one for bike riders with extra space in the back.
It really means a lot to be able to personalize it for the patient,” he added. “I know for me, it felt like an expression of me coming through.”
Once again, Wells meant what he says when it comes to how much it means to amputees to have such a personalized, personal option. He, too, was taken aback recently when his own, new UNYQ Armor cover arrived.
The man who is always positive, always there for everyone else, was moved. There were few words said but the emotion hit him hard as soon as he put the cover on. You could see it in his eyes.
Darth Vader “ain’t got nothing” on the strength of the human spirit when trying new things – especially when that new thing is a personalized fashion cover that helps you gather and believe in your own superhuman strength.