He Spent 20 Years Hiding His Prosthesis. Why He’s Now Inviting People to Stare.
One man is helping amputees stand tall again after losing a limb.
In 1985, at the age of 21, Dan Horkey lost the lower half of his left leg in a motorcycle accident in Tucson, Arizona, according to his website.
For nearly 20 years after the accident, Horkey tried to hide his prosthetic devices and blend in. Then, one day he put on a prosthetic that was covered in flame artwork, and everything changed.
“The moment I put fiery flames artwork on my socket, the compliments from strangers made me stand tall and my self-esteem went through the roof,” Horkey wrote on his website. “I wear my prosthesis with pride.”
He knew he wanted to help other amputees experience this as well. So in 2008 he started Prosthetic INK, a company that applies personalized artwork onto prosthetic limbs, orthopedic braces and pediatric cranial helmets.
The artwork is often reflective of the person who wears it. Some feature designs like sports team logos or symbols with personal meaning, while others are solid colors or chrome finishes.
Whatever look the wearer chooses, the message is clear — go ahead and stare.
“What I want to try to do [with my art] is tell people, ‘I’m doing fine. I’m proud to have this prosthetic. I’m making it my own. It’s a part of me now,’” Horkey told The Blaze. “We stand out to people. If we’re going to stand out, might as well have it look kickass.”
Check out some of Prosthetic INK’s artwork below: