we empower amputees
about our organization
The Southwest Atlanta Amputee Community (a.k.a. SWAAMP) is a monthly support group open to amputees, their families, and anyone who has been touched by limb difference. Its purpose is to provide assistance and support to new amputees, and their loved ones as they adjust to the changes they are facing. It is one of the only active groups of its kind in the southwest Atlanta area.
SWAAMP was created by Southwest Atlanta natives, amputee Ed Hughes and Courtney Shelf PT, DPT, after they met during a 2015 Amputee Coalition National Conference in Tuscon, Arizona.
When Ed lost his leg in emergency surgery in 2011, he did not have a plan in place, or any support to help him. He had to go through it alone. He later became a member of the Emory Rehab Support Group in Decatur, GA. As a peer visitor at Emory Hospital, he met many people bedside who also lived in the Southwest Atlanta area. They all felt they needed a resource closer to home.
What’s more, Ed and Courtney also wanted to create the sort of support group that he’d needed right after his amputation. Many support groups and leaders focus heavily on the emotions stirred by limb loss – the grief and raw emotion over losing a limb – and although this an important part of a healing process, SWAAMP also seeks to educate and inform new amputees to help them become their own advocates. The goal is to not only provide emotional care but to offer practical advice to help during this transition, including providing information about finding and choosing resources.