Beauty Pageant Contestant on iWALK

Beauty pageant contestant competes with help of ‘pirate leg’

A Miss Florida USA contestant who damaged her ankle while training for the beauty pageant took to the stage anyway, with the help of a hands-free crutch.

Elizabeth Tran made the top 15 out of more than 80 contestants wearing the device and says the experience made her feel “unstoppable”.

Determined Elizabeth wouldn’t let anything stand in the way of her competing for her dream title after two years of preparing for the high-profile event. The Miss North Miami representative, who also wore an eco-gown made entirely out of discarded materials to promote sustainability, had been looking forward to it for months.

But just days before the event the 25-year-old feared she may have to admit defeat after an injury left her in agony and unable to move. The accident happened during a boot camp to prepare for the pageant.

Elizabeth explains: “I stepped on a mini hurdle and fell sideways, rolling my ankle over. It was very painful but I didn’t think it would be a big deal. By the time I got home I couldn’t walk and I had to crawl down the hallway to my apartment.”

Elizabeth’s friend lent her some crutches but she hated them. She says: “I had no idea how painful they were. Within a few days my hands were bleeding from using them and I had to wrap them with athletic tape. I thought ‘I can’t do this anymore’.”

Elizabeth went to see her doctor for X-rays and discovered that she had sprained her ankle and snapped two ligaments. She says: “The doctor told me it would take two to three weeks for my ankle to heal – the pageant was just one week away. I was in excruciating pain and just felt horrible. Miss Florida USA is the Super Bowl of pageantry but I couldn’t imagine doing it in this condition. I reached out to the pageant director and she suggested I get a hands-free crutch called an iWALK2.0.”

Elizabeth was sceptical at first but after watching videos of people using the device online she ordered one. It arrived on Friday, with just six days to go until the pageant. She says: “I practised like crazy to make sure that I could walk comfortably in high heels and pose wearing it. It was easy to adapt to and I was able to go back to the gym and do exercises that I wasn’t able to before. All of this helped me to prepare mentally and physically for the competition.”

Elizabeth has been competing in pageants since the age of eight and says they have played a huge role in her life, helping her to feel more confident and beautiful in herself. Her mom and sister also compete. This is the second time she has taken part in Miss Florida USA, which will see the winner compete in the nationally televised Miss USA. She also entered in 2018 but didn’t make the top 20. Elizabeth told herself that she would come back two years later with the right mindset and outlook.

She says: “It’s been two years of personal development and when all of this happened it was a test of my personal, mental, and emotional stamina. I feel so proud that I got through it and walked on that stage.”

It was also an opportunity for Elizabeth to promote sustainability, something that she has been passionate about since she was 12 years old. As a girl she passed by the Miami landfill known as Mount Trashmore and was shocked by the vast piles of waste. She decided to volunteer with environmental non-profit organizations but was told that she was too young, so she set up her own, Teens Go Green, to promote sustainability. The organization is now best known for its trash fashion and Elizabeth organises a number of eco-fashion shows across Florida, with one also due to be held in New York this year.

Elizabeth and her mom made the eco-dress that she wore for the pageant and she hopes this will raise awareness of environmental issues and the impact of disposable fashion on the planet. She says: “I wore a dress made of garbage and a pirate leg. If nothing else, I think people will remember me!”

Elizabeth adds: “I wouldn’t have been able to stand, literally or figuratively, on the stage had it not been for the iWALK2.0. It gives people hope at the most desperate of times.”

The iWALK2.0 is an award-winning, FDA / CE registered medical device which can be used by the majority of people with lower leg injuries. A 2019 medical study found that nine out of ten patients prefer it to conventional crutches.

Brad Hunter, President of iWALKFree, Inc, says: “We’re delighted to hear that the iWALK2.0 allowed Elizabeth to take to the stage at Miss Florida USA. Elizabeth represents what the device is all about – with crutches you’re disabled but with the iWALK2.0 you’re enabled and that means that anything is possible, even walking the catwalk in a beauty pageant.”

Review

I loved this 5 star review that came in yesterday:
It was a US customer who wanted a Pegleg delivered to her niece in London.
He paid us on Thursday afternoon and it was with her on Friday morning.
We do our best to give a superior, personal service.

Wow. Very quick service and immediate, special attention over the phone with something I couldn’t handle on their website. (Paying with U.S. credit card) Very quick delivery. Just A+ plus service and some of it was “after business hours” too. AND my niece (who was skeptical) LOVES the peg leg – It’s so convenient. These guys are GOOD. Well done!

Rise in Diabetes-Related Lower Leg Amputations

Brad Hunter led the redesign of the original iWALK handsfree crutch which helps people who have lower leg issues. The improved iWALK 2.0 went on to secure a first place honour in Medica Expo’s i-NOVO Awards.

Mr Hunter says that the top four reasons that people need crutches to keep them mobile are:

  • Shin bone fractures
  • Lower leg amputations, often as a result of diabetes
  • Ankle and foot fractures
  • Achilles tendon ruptures

Notably, the number of people needing crutches because they’ve had a diabetes-related lower leg amputation is increasing. Diabetes UK says that there were 26,378 diabetes-related lower leg amputations in the UK between 2014 and 2017, 19.4% more than in the 2010 to 2013 period.

In North Somerset – where Peglegs is based – the picture is worse. According to recently released North Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group figures there were 31% more diabetes-related lower leg amputations during the 2014 to 2017 period compared to the previous period.

Many people who have had a diabetes-related lower leg amputation have found the iWALK 2.0 hands-free crutch has helped them, either on a temporary basis or as a permanent alternative to a prosthetic limb for people who are unable to use such limbs.

The iWALK 2.0 hands-free crutch is better than conventional crutches because its hands-free design means that you can still use your arms. With conventional crutches even a relatively simple task such as carrying a mug of tea from your kitchen into your living room would be difficult, but with the iWALK 2.0 this is no longer a problem. You can even walk your dog, or hold your children or grandchildren.

But importantly, Mr Hunter says that as well as giving you increased mobility and freedom, there are medical reasons why hands-free crutches are better for you.

First, conventional crutches don’t just affect your hands and shoulders while you’re using them. Your upper leg and hip muscles can atrophy by as much as 2% a day while on crutches. You don’t experience this level of muscle loss with the iWALK 2.0.

Second, using conventional crutches restricts the blood flow to your lower extremities. Diabetes often leads to damaged blood vessels as a result of high blood sugar levels so anything that restricts your blood flow is bad news. Using the iWALK 2.0 rather than conventional crutches helps with this.

You can find out more about how the iWALK 2.0 hands-free crutch helps lower leg amputees here.

Peglegs UK, the iWALK 2.0 and the America’s Cup

 How iWALK2.0 Made French Challenge Possible

The new America’s Cup catamarans sail four times faster than the wind by literally flying over the water. When French skipper Franck Cammas was knocked overboard during training, he almost lost his lower leg. He needed to get back into training in time to compete for the cup, so naturally he wanted the best, most technologically advanced crutch in the world. That’s why he chose the iWALK2.0, which we the fellow sailors at Peglegs UK sent to his training base in France. In June, France successfully competed in the America’s Cup Challenger series in their quest for the cup.