The AMP Fin™ story starts with an unfortunate, life changing event and ends with a prosthetic fin that makes swimming, diving, and physical therapy possible.
Randy Lord has been an amputee since 1990. Prior to an industrial accident that resulted in the loss of his leg below the knee, he was active in both commercial diving for scallops, and in recreational swimming. During the early onset of the Global War on Terror, Randy and his wife, Lori began to see the staggering number of wounded soldiers returning from battle as amputees. Knowing how drastically his own life had changed due to amputation, Randy and Lori began to research ways to assist other amputees in feeling “whole” again after limb loss. Their love for water and swimming led them to try swim fins for amputees that were on the market. As a result of Randy being unable to find a device that suited his needs, he and Lori embarked on a mission to develop a custom-fit fin that would allow Randy and other amputees to return to the water for recreational, as well as physical therapy purposes.
The quest began in their kitchen-turned makeshift science lab in Danforth, Maine where they created and tested the first few formulas and fin designs. From their home kitchen/lab, their operations moved to the G&G Products, LLC manufacturing plant in Kennebunkport, Maine where G&G has been instrumental in the development of the prototype molds. Together with G&G Products, LLC the Lords designed the custom-fit AMP Fin™ in eight adult sizes and one youth model.
Continuing with their vision, Randy and Lori took their invention to Cory LaPlante, Certified Prosthetist and owner of Northern Prosthetics & Orthotics in Presque Isle, Maine. As an above knee amputee, Cory tested the AMP Fin™ on a family vacation to Florida, experimented with its uses, and returned from vacation in full support of the Lord’s product and enthusiastically joined the management team.
Because AMP Fin™ has overwhelming physical therapy benefits, Cory introduced the Lords to Dr. Brad Ala, a physical therapist at a local medical center in northern Maine. Recognizing the positive therapeutic impact qualities of the AMP Fin™, Brad became involved in the project and utilized the skills and tools of his personal production company to develop instructional videos on the proper use of the AMP Fin™ and joined the ranks of the management team.
During the developmental stages of AMP Fin™, Randy reached out to John Birmingham, Executive Director of Warriors in The Workplace, a non-profit organization in Northern Maine that assists Veterans with employment upon separation from military service. Having served in the Army National Guard in a medical capacity for several years, John saw the positive mental benefits that Amp Fin™ could have in relation to an increased sense of independence and the ability to return to aquatic activities. After becoming part of the management team, John connected with several governmental agencies and the AMP Fin™ team traveled to meet with the Governor of Maine, Department of Defense, several VA medical centers, as well as Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Following the visit to the Walter Reed facility, the development of the second AMP Fin™, a mechanical attachment that connects to the user’s current prosthetic device, became a reality.
The AMP Fin™ is patented in the United States, is patent pending in several foreign countries, and has been approved by the USDA as a Class 1 medical device.