In his true story of survival, Garrison shares his incredible journey facing uncertainties and anger, struggling with emotional and physical pain, and fighting fear as he moved further away from his normal routine and into the world of the permanently disabled. As he chronicles the events leading up to his loss, his recuperation, and the adoption of a prosthetic foot, he poignantly details his true feelings, triumphs, setbacks, and positive choices as he learns how to focus on his abilities instead of his disabilities. Through his exploration into his deepest, most personal thoughts, Garrison illustrates a descriptive and sometimes shockingly funny journey as he discovers what it is like to be an amputee and what it really means for his love life and his future career.
It's Just a Matter of Balance shares an eye-opening glimpse into the inspiring life of Garrison, who demonstrates to others that with genuine acceptance of our fate, we can finally began to live the life we were meant to have.
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About the Author
Certified & Licensed Prosthetist
Mr. Garrison became involved in prosthetic work when he was 19 years old and employed by a local prosthetic facility for three years in El Paso, Texas. He then attended the University of California, Los Angeles in 1974, subsequently transferring to Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois, where he finished his prosthetic studies in 1977.
After successfully completing his formal prosthetic education, Mr. Garrison practiced prosthetics for several years before founding Garrison’s Prosthetic Services, Inc. in 1986 in North Miami Beach, Florida. Ten years later he opened an additional prosthetic facility in Pompano Beach, Florida. He continues owning and operating a successful prosthetic care company today.
Among his many accomplishments, Mr. Garrison has a United States patent for a Quick Change Mechanism for a Limb Prosthesis and had an article published in the Journal of the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association titled “Prosthetic Modifications for the Marginally Viable Below Knee Amputee.” In 2005 he wrote an inspirational autobiography called It’s Just a Matter of Balance which is now recommended reading by the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists.
Mr. Garrison has been living in South Florida since 1980; he is married and has five children -- two daughters and three sons. His middle son is a Staff Sargent presently in the U.S. Air Force (Military Police) who has served three tours of duty in Iraq.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Living proof that overcoming adversity can lead to greater things for yourself and those around you. An inspirational book whenever you're feeling sorry for yourself. Heather Mills McCartney
"Book Discusses Both Literal and Figurative Balance" Reviewed by Michele Owens, PTA As therapists we frequently are exposed to people who are challenged by balance. What is sometimes not so obvious but can be just as challenging is finding our balance in life. Kevin S. Garrison, CP, LP, reflects on both in his book, It's Just a Matter of Balance. Garrison takes the reader on the path of his life from 1969, just before he learned of his foot tumor, to 2005 when he seems at a place of balance with his family, career and life. This is an emotional, well-detailed and at times humorous story of Garrison's disability starting at age 16 when he was diagnosed with an "Osteo type Desmoid Tumor Grade III" on his right foot and the subsequent Syme amputation. It's Just a Matter of Balance can also be viewed as an interesting analogy related to the amputee getting a new prosthetic limb. With the new prosthesis comes excitement and restoration, the pain of adjustment, the comfort and strength when the adjustment period is over and then the uneasiness when it is time for a new fit and the process begins again. Life can be similar. An event occurs - school, job, marriage, even tragedy. It is a difficult transition, we adjust, get used to it and then the next event occurs, making us learn to gain balance all over again. Yet each time it gets a bit easier. Garrison paints the picture of himself as a maturing and humble young man and professional. He honestly describes the mistakes he made as an interning prosthetist and the resulting confidence (and balance) he gained as a professional by learning from these mistakes. And what seems to separate him as a fine practitioner is his ability to empathize with his clients, which he learns is shared by clinicians who have not experienced what he has. We all can learn from this. It is amazing that Garrison as a young man was so driven to his career goal. From the moment he received his first prosthetic limb at age 17 he craved to know more. He states, "my new leg fascinated me.it was so challenging to try to understand how it had replaced my diseased foot." The educational process was not an easy one for Garrison but he was determined. Each step of his career path brought with it struggles and adjustments. He adequately relays how integral they were in building his foundation and the balance that carries him forward. The multidimensional characters that Garrison is able to bring to life, as well as the sketches and photos, add a fun element to this book. He includes several of his early clients who taught him valuable lessons, such as Mr. Truckner, who lost his foot in a grocery store. The four photos included are from an orthotic catalog published in 1906. The five sketches are renderings of original illustrations from a prosthetic manual published in 1906 and include interesting patient testimonials. Garrison is able to share with us, as therapists, the perspective of a patient as well as a clinician revealing the compassion we sometimes lack. We are given an understanding in the privilege of seeing it through his eyes in this book. It's Just a Matter of Balance is interesting for anyone - a hopeful story for a person experiencing the loss of a limb and a useful story for clinicians. --Advance for Physical Therapists and Physical Therapy Assistants
I couldn't put this book down. Whether you are a patient, parent or sibling, child or friend of a patient, or just simply trying to read a great book about balancing stresses and crisis in life and how to handle them...you will enjoy this book! A great read!
Kevin Garrison writes an excellent book that shows life is just a matter of balance. His personal story is an inspiration to us all. To me, as someone who has gone through similar trials, I relate to his recovery and his perception of life. I am very proud of him not just for his book, but how he has conducted his life. Senator Max Cleland