Annie's CCAFO story

Annie Carey broke her first records in track and swimming when she was eight years old. She was inspired to compete just one year earlier after watching Oscar Pistorius compete at the London Olympic Games.1 Today, the driven 14-year-old para athlete from Boise, Idaho, has her sights set firmly on Paralympic gold.

Annie was born in China with severe club foot. She was adopted by an American family shortly before her second birthday, and went through serial casting and surgery to correct her club foot. Although the process repaired her foot abnormality, it left her with peroneal nerve damage, atrophied lower left leg muscles, limb-length discrepancy, and drop foot.

In order to live an active life, she would need to wear an ankle foot orthosis (AFO) every day. However, no ordinary AFO would support her competitive activities. She needed an extremely robust dynamic AFO design. After searching for options, Annie’s mother Sarah contacted Ted Friedmann, CO, an orthotics clinical specialist at Ottobock, who told her about Ottobock’s custom carbon fiber AFO (CCAFO) in early 2017.

The lightweight, low-profile custom AFO is ideal for active users who need dynamic support and stability. Pete Simpson, CPO, a prosthetist-orthotist at Kormylo-Advanced Prosthetics & Orthotics in Boise, custom designed the CCAFO to match Annie’s height, weight, and demanding activity needs.

Annie uses her CCAFO every day when she works out and during every competition. She has competed in multiple competitions, most recently representing the United States at the 2018 IWAS Youth World Games in Athlone, Ireland. As the youngest team member competing against athletes ranging in age from 14 to 22, she earned a gold medal in the long jump and silver medals in the 200-meter and 100-meter track events. She is currently ranked fourth in the world in 100-meter track, third in the world in 200-meter track, and first in the world in the high jump and long jump.

“Without this brace, Annie would not be at the level she is today, and definitely would not be funneling up toward the Paralympics,” Sarah says.