LIMBS International & Jim Hughey (MABS, 1985)

Alumni Spotlight

There are over 40 million amputees in the world, and every thirty seconds, the number grows. In an instant, productive citizens are bereft of their mobility, independence, and dignity.

Jim Hughey’s first exposure to LIMBS, a nonprofit organization that provides full leg prosthetics and rehabilitation programs to amputees, was at LeTourneau University.

“It started as a student senior engineering project,” Jim recalled. “Not only did students have to design, test, and make an artificial device, they had to go in the field for practical application. The project continued as each year’s senior engineering students refined and improved the product.”

This particular project used artificial limbs created from materials manufactured within the amputee’s country. The project burgeoned into an independent nonprofit organization whose goal is to provide low cost prosthetic devices to those who needed it but could not afford the high-end alternatives.  As a standalone organization, LIMBS needed to have a board of directors for oversight to attain their 503c status. The organization asked Jim to join the board.

As Jim became more involved with LIMBS, he realized the life-changing power of the organization.

“In many places, the loss of a leg and no mobility means a life of poverty and, in many cases, extreme hardship or loss of family.  LIMBS provides the answer to that problem. And it is done with two full-time staff members and several part-time students; the rest are volunteers. In 2019 LIMBS was awarded the Drucker Prize for innovation in nonprofit work because of their commitment to combining low-cost prosthetics with local support to ensure the success of their clients.”

For Jim, the bottom line was changed lives. The most vulnerable were given the chance to reclaim their mobility, independence, and dignity.

Read more about LIMBS International at www.limbsinternational.org/.