Posted on Wednesday March 31, 2021
Dr. Wayne Attkisson had polio when he was five years old. His father had just gotten out of the war and returned home to Wayne with Polio and his brother with rheumatic fever. Due to polio complications, he had to learn to walk again but feels fortunate not to have been fully paralyzed. Dr. Attkisson did “very well with my recovery, but never did become an athlete.” (He says with a laugh.) A lifelong practicing dentist, and well-loved community member, he used his Amigo as an essential workplace tool.
As a child, Dr. Attkisson was impressed by his family dentist, not yet knowing it was his future career. Later in life, he knew he wanted to be a dentist because of this fond impression. He attended the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, for his undergrad and dental school.
After graduation, he volunteered for the Air Force and served for two years. Upon leaving the Air Force, he opened his practice. Wanting to be near the water, Dr. Attkisson and his wife Margaret chose the town of Windsor, NC. There they built a practice that was in business for 50 years!
Dr. Wayne Attkisson remembers seeing an Amigo for the first time…“I ran into a gentleman that was on an Amigo cart, and within a week I was in Raleigh, getting myself one!” Since then, he has owned six Amigos over 35 years, and has used an Amigo RD full time for the last 30 years.
Essential Workplace Tool
After breaking both of his kneecaps and his foot, Dr. Attkisson set out to determine what was causing these health hurdles. After doing some research, he discovered he was suffering from post-polio Syndrome (PPS). When health issues continued to happen, he thought about going out of practice. He decided with the help of his Amigo, he could make workplace modifications to help him continue to work. His limited mobility did not keep him from moving forward and he would use his Amigo as an essential workplace tool. Saying, “without it, I would be a big mess.” After developing post-polio, walking was troublesome. At that time, he made more mobility modifications, including a vehicle with a ramp and hand gears.
When Dr. Attkisson decided he could use his Amigo more to his advantage, he arranged the patient rooms and office to allow access to everything he needed. Upon these mobility-friendly changes, he was able to practice for an additional 30 years. Wayne expresses, “the patients were always receptive of the way I practiced. Most dentists are sitting down on stools, so it worked out really well.” Using his Amigo as an essential workplace tool, Wayne rode in and out of the office every day…and did so until the day he retired.
“I could not have practiced dentistry without my Amigo, and the help of my dedicated staff.”
Through the years, the Attkisson family enjoyed traveling to many places, including Europe, Mexico, and the 50 states. Traveling across the contiguous United States was a personal accomplishment, filled with the excitement of checking off each of the states on the list. The Attkisson’s also have fond memories of enjoying time on the water. An avid boating family, Wayne credits his Amigo for getting him down the dock and to the boat. Through added mobility, he is able to get on his sailboat or jet ski and navigate wherever he wants to go.
In The Family
His wife, Margaret, is also an Amigo user. She has multiple sclerosis and saw first-hand the benefit of using an Amigo. Margaret is able to walk and move around but loves the assistance her Amigo provides. Margaret has been using the mobility device for over 15 years. Both feel blessed living close to family and they enjoy spending time with them.
Wayne is a lifelong member of the civic group Rotary International, whose positive community focus has a long-standing tradition supporting polio eradication with their “End Polio Now” campaign. As a result of his Rotarian commitment, Wayne received a Paul Harris Fellow award. A recognition named after the organization’s founder. He looks forward to Rotary returning post-COVID-19. Wayne is thankful to have lived a wonderful and full life; he considers himself to be “lucky, very lucky.”
“I don’t know what I would have done without my Amigo…they really are trouble-free and work so well.Dr. Wayne Attkisson, used his Amigo as an essential workplace tool.