Jim Griffin was born in Birmingham, Alabama. He has lived throughout
the U.S. and several foreign countries traveling with his dad who was a
U.S. Naval officer. Jim graduated from the University of Montevallo with a
BS in Psychology and Biology. He has a Master's degree in Administration,
and a Doctorate in Administration and Supervision from the University of
Alabama. Jim has been a U.S. Marine, Police Officer, Teacher, and
Elementary/Middle school principal. Due to a serious aircraft
related accident, Jim was forced to retire early in December, 1999 after
working 18 years in the securities field. He
was a Regional Vice President
for American General Financial Services.
two boys, Justin, age 15, and Chris, age 23. Jim's hobbies are MR2's,
Flying (commercial pilot in helicopters, gyroplanes and fixed wing
aircraft), Amateur Radio (K4UHM), Scuba (PADI Divemaster), Classical
guitar, and Computers.
During the past 6 years, Jim has endured 17 ankle operations.
After two failed attempts with early model Agility ankles, Depuy
Orthopedics developed an experimental ankle for him. It was
developed with the help of Dr. Roy Sanders (Florida Orthopedics) in Tampa,
FL and Dr. John Gould (Health South) in Birmingham, AL. The ankle
joint was installed by Dr. Sanders in Jan. 2001.
Two weeks after the surgery, the Fibula bone, which is located next to the
new ankle, fractured. After flying back to Tampa, two plates and
eight screws (X-ray 1) were added. One June 12th, 2002 the plates
and screws were removed and three new screws were installed for additional
support (X-ray 2). In late 2002 Jim's third artificial ankle
failed leaving Jim with few options. Jim discovered that the
University of California, San Diego had an experimental ankle transplant
program. He flew to CA and met with the two doctors who ran the
program and was put on a waiting list for donor parts. Six months
later the call came and he flew to San Diego on September 21st, 2003 and
had the surgery on the 22nd, receiving the ankle of a 27 year old man.
After a short hospital stay he flew home to recover.
In October, Jim's 16 year old son Justin was killed in his 1993 MR2
NA automatic about two miles from their home. Justin's loss has
devastated the family. See some of Justin's photos below.
Jim's recovery from surgery has taken many months but he is walking and
looking forward to having the remaining screws and a plate removed this
The old and the new. X-Ray at far right shows broken screws ready
X-ray showing new metal plates and 8 screws.
The big white object is the new titanium part. The smaller part
is chromium cobalt steel. If you enlarge the first x-ray and look on the right side by the top
corner of the titanium part, you can see the small break in the fibula.
I have another website which is for those people who have ankle
problems or want more information on this subject. It
is a an information and support site.
My hero, Mike Novosel,
Metal of Honor winner,
Bob Gilliland and Jim. Bob was the original
test pilot for the SR71 Blackbird spy plane
Update: March 22, 2001. I am off the crutches and
walking with a cane. This is the first of the three artificial
ankles that feels like it might work. My foot has good mechanical
motion. This time things feel smoother. I am starting to
work on range of motion, stretching out the tendons and
ligaments. Yes, it hurts. But it's worth the pain if I get a
good result. June 7th, 01: Met with Dr. John Gould this
morning. We did new x-rays, checked out the bionic ankle, and
discussed the plan for the next two months. I will be working on
building up my left leg in a gym.
I am walking with a cane part of the day. I started taking
Celebrex which I call the "miracle" drug. Next week
I am going to Tampa to see Dr. Roy Sanders, the doc who did the last
surgery. Both docs are two of he best ankle surgeons in the
US. Things are looking better! Sept 3, 2001. I have been walking for three
months. There is still some pain in the ankle, but it's soooo
good to be walking that I can almost forget about it. This
week I am visiting with Dr. Frank Alvine who invented the artificial
ankle. He is visiting Dr.Gould here in Birmingham. I
know that I have at least two operations remaining. They plan
to remove the eight screws and the metal plates next summer. I will
also need to have surgery to rotate my foot inward slightly so that
it walks on the flat part rather than on the outside edge.
This has not been fun!
2, 2002. The ankle remains a major limitation to what I
can do. Walking always hurts. I have a max range of
about 1/2 mile a day before it gets to the point of having
to take medication for pain. I can drive a car with a clutch,
but getting stuck in traffic is no fun. Given a choice I will
take the automatic most of the time. My doc in Tampa agreed to
remove the two plates and eight screws in the summer of 2002.
I hope that will make a difference.
12, 2002.Operation number 16 was
completed in Tampa Florida. The plates and screws were
removed. New screws were installed. See x-rays above.
July 15, 2003. Ankle number three
has become looseand needs to be replaced. I
am currently on the transplant list at the University of California,
San Diego for a human ankle transplant. This surgery
will be done sometime during the next 6 months as donor parts become
July 06, 2004. After receiving an
ankle transplant in September of 2003 the ankle is feeling more like
a normal ankle. I still have to be careful with it as it
finishes healing. Some of the screws holding the metal hardware
together have broken and the docs think that they will remove the
broken parts later this summer. Overall, the human ankle is a
major improvement over the artificial ankles that failed.
The S-300 Flying helicopters is like having a magic carpet.
This was my second helo. This was taken at the Sylacauga
The Pitts S-1
"Younger days" Yamaha 250 GP
Landing in the back yard
Diving in the Caymans
Luscombe 8E and my 93NA Mr2
93 Celica All-Trac
What a sweet ride!
Sold to Alan Baxter in WA.
"The Beast" 93 Turbo
Jim's first MKII - a 93 NA - Sold
I loved this car.
Jim's 92 Turbo - Sold
My son drove this 92T
91 Turbo Modified "The Wraith" - Sold
Now living in AZ with it's new owner.
"Hello, I'm June. I am the one who puts up with all
the car parts, car guys, car girls, car phone calls, car e-mail, MR2 meets, visitors, and a bunch of stuff you can't even imagine,
and loves every minute of it!"
June and Emily (My Niece) June is a retired teacher, plays piano, reads,
shops, and works part time. She loves her Lexus and family.
She has a page of her own. Click the hover button below.
Click here for:
Justin Age 17 "We will miss your sweet smile and gentle spirit"
July 31, 1987 - October 22, 2003
Married May 18th 2002
Sunglasses Hut "Maui Jim's Poster guy
Rawlings Athletic Sock Model / SAM'S stores USA