Friday, October 26, 2007 Winter is acting as an inspiration for others who have similar challenges. The bottle nose dolphin who lost her tail in a crab trap and was fitted with a prosthetic tail, is acting as a source of inspiration for humans in a similar situation.
The Clearwater Marine Aquarium has started a new program, where people who share similar disabilities with Winter can get VIP treatment with the dolphin, free of charge.
Katrina Simpkins, Alex Miller, Anthony Burruto and Melissa Stockwell visited with Winter Friday. They all use prosthetics.
"It's the same as mine and I was really, really, happy that she saw me with hers and mine and stuff like that," said Simpkins. "She's really beautiful."
"It's amazing how she can still swim and I can still walk," Burruto said.
Stockwell, who lost her leg to a roadside bomb in Iraq, said soldiers in the Wounded Warrior Project, a non-profit organization for severly injured veterans, are going to participate.
"They just put on her prosthetic tail and just to see her be able to move around with that it's pretty incredible," Stockwell said. "It's inspiring, I mean you get a prosthetic you can do anything."
Hanger, the company that developed and donated Winter's tail, said it's doing more than just providing inspiration.
The Hanger prosthetic expert said the technology developed for Winter's tails is helping some people with severe amputee cases walk again.
To sign up for the new program, call the Clearwater Marine Aquarium at (727) 441-1790