Inspirational Stories – Just Do It

Dieter Jüptner, Vice President, IC2A,
Co-founder and president of BMAB (German Amputee Association)

Dieter Jüptner, Vice President, IC2A
Dieter Jüptner, Vice President, IC2A

Dieter is a successful businessman from Germany. He has always been a busy person interested in keeping fit. In his 50s, during one of his gym sessions one evening at about 5.30pm, he was working out on the rowing machine in the gym more intensively than usual when he felt a sudden pain in his left leg which went white and then he fainted. He woke up to find a doctor attending to him who thought he had injured his back and so he was taken to a hospital for treatment. After an MRI scan, no back problem was found, but the medical team suspected he had a blocked artery in his leg and so he was transferred to a second hospital at 11.30pm later that same night. By 1am he was undergoing an operation, the first of many which eventually resulted in an above-knee amputation.

Today, Dieter uses a prosthetic leg for the whole day – from waking up to going to bed, with few exceptions, and he drives a normal automatic car. Before his amputation Dieter ran two businesses. After his amputation, Dieter says that he “personally decided that I don’t want to do the things I cannot do”. This philosophy has helped him to focus on his interests both at work and in his social life. He decided to continue to work as a financial advisor primarily insurance broking while at the same time reducing his workload and stress levels by not working in his second company. Socially, Dieter has changed from regular jogging and gym workouts to swimming and he plans to reignite his cycling with a new e-bicycle. Before his amputation, Dieter was a regular ballroom dancer. Now, he still dances (these days in a sports dancing club) and says he can do most dances but not the samba – which he decided he doesn’t like anyway! – or the Viennese waltz, which “he never could do with two legs”.

Dieter has a real “can do” attitude which saw him co-found the Amputee Association in Germany called BMAB. Immediately after his amputation, Dieter looked for information or a support group for amputees, but could not find a forum on the internet, so he founded a forum while in initial rehabilitation. He says when he got home he “found a few people” and eventually this led to formation of a support group as a joint venture with fellow amputees. Ten persons were elected to check if it was possible to build a federal association and in less than a year, BMAB was founded – they “just did it”.  BMAB has been active since 2009 thanks to a committed team of amputees.