Kevin Carroll

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For the American football player, see Kevin Carroll (gridiron football).

Kevin Carroll is an Irish prosthetist, researcher, educator, and author.[1] He is the Vice-President of Prosthetics for Hanger Clinic, a prosthetics and orthotics provider in the United States.[2]

Kevin travels around the United States and the world providing care for patients with unique or challenging cases and for disabled athletes.[2][3][4] He also presents scientific symposiums and educational programs.[1][5]

Carroll is one of the most renowned prosthetists in the world.[4][6][7] He is an American Board Certified Prosthetist and has been named a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists.[8] He is a member of the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO), the British Association of Prosthetics and Orthotics (BAPO) and the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers.[9] In 2009 Carroll was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the United States Sports Academy because of his contributions to the advancement of prosthetics and his dedication to numerous disabled and paralympic athletes.[10]

Winter the Dolphin[edit]

Main article: Winter (dolphin)

In 2005, a baby dolphin (now named Winter) became entangled in the ropes of a crab trap.[11] The rope cut off the supply of blood to her tail which resulted in her tail being amputated.[12]

It was thought that Winter would learn to swim without a tail, but this forced her to swim with a "side to side" motion instead of the normal "up and down" motion. Winter's veterinarians feared that this unusual movement would damage her spine. Kevin Carroll, who had previously designed prosthetics for other animals (including dogs, an ostrich and a duck), volunteered to help after hearing about Winter on NPR and became Winter's prosthetist in 2005.[12][13][14][15]

Kevin and a team of experts, including Hanger clinician Dan Strzempka, began working on creating a prosthetic tail for Winter. While Carroll thought that it would be a simple task, the project took over a year and a half before Winter began wearing the tail.[16] The successful creation of an artificial tail fluke is the first time a full prosthetic tail has been created for a dolphin.[17]

Carroll and Strzempka worked with a chemical engineer to develop WintersGel, a new material that would disperse pressure evenly onto the dolphin's skin.[18] Now the material is used for human amputees including Brian Kolfage and Megan McKeon.[19][20]

2009 Book Adaptation[edit]

In 2009 Winter's story was told by Craig Hatkoff and his daughters Juliana and Isabella Hatkoff, the No. 1 New York Times best-selling children's authors in Winter's Tail: How One Little Dolphin Learned to Swim Again. The book was published by Turtle Pond Publications and Scholastic. The book was co-released with a Nintendo DS game.[21][22]

2011 Film Adaptation[edit]

Main article: Dolphin Tale

In 2011, Winter's story hit the big screen when American film director Charles Martin Smith directed the film Dolphin Tale.[23] Carroll and Strzempka served as consultants for the movie and are featured at the end credits along with Megan McKeon and others who have benefited from Winter. For reasons unknown concerning the historical liberties, Carroll and Strzempka's roles were merged into one character for the film, Dr. Cameron McCarthy who is played by legendary actor Morgan Freeman.[24] On the Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy version of the movie, Carroll and Strzempka are featured in Winter's Inspiration, the featurette that shares Winter's true story.[25]

Warren Macdonald[edit]

In 1997 Warren Macdonald, an Australian mountain climber, was climbing through a remote mountainside in Australia when a one-ton boulder fell onto his legs trapping him for 45 hours. This trauma resulted in both of his legs being amputated mid-thigh. After his rehabilitation, he returned to climbing using speciality climbing prostheses developed by Kevin Carroll and Hanger clinician Chad Simpson. In 2003 Macdonald climbed to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, making him the first bilateral transfemoral amputee to accomplish such a feat.[2][26][27]



  • Carroll, K., & Edelstein, J. (2006). Prosthetics and Patient Management: A Comprehensive Clinical Approach. Thorofare, NJ: SLACK Inc.. 284 pp. ISBN 1-55642-671-2


  • Carroll, K. (2006). Lower Extremity Socket Design and Suspension. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America, 17(1), 31–48.
  • Carroll, K., & Richardson, R. (2009). Improving Outcomes for Bilateral Transfemoral Amputees: A Graduated Approach to Prosthetic Success. The Academy Today, 5(2), 2–5.


  1. ^ a b "2008–2009 Updates". MSPO Program at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Georgia Institute of Technology. Retrieved 6 January 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c Mahr, Krista (20 March 2012). "Building a Better Athlete". TIME. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  3. ^ "Amputee expert 'Macgyvers' tail for dolphin". IOL SciTech. IOL. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Sanderson, Elizabeth (22 October 2011). "Joy as conjoined twins are given artificial legs – by man who fitted new tails on injured dolphins". Daily Mail. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  5. ^ "Hanger Annual Education Fair Held in Reno". Rehab Management. Allied Media. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  6. ^ "World Renowned Prosthetist Giving People And Animals A Better Quality of Life". Northland's News Center. A Granite Broadcasting Station. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  7. ^ Cochran, Amanda. "Dolphin's prosthetic tale comes to the big screen". CBS News. CBS. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  8. ^ "Current Academy Fellows". American Academy of Orthotists & Prosthetists. The American Academy of Orthotists & Prosthetists. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  9. ^ "Advisory Board". The O&P Edge. Western Media LLC. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  10. ^ "Academy Honors Carroll for Work with Paralympians and Challenged Athletes". United States Sports Academy. United States Sports Academy. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  11. ^ Lelis, Ludmilla (27 November 2010). "Winter the dolphin's rescue off Volusia has Hollywood ending". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  12. ^ a b Block, Melissa (26 September 2006). "Researchers Hope to Give Dolphin Prosthetic Tail". NPR. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  13. ^ "Pictured: The world's first bionic sea creature: Winter the dolphin gets a prosthetic tail". Daily Mail. 5 May 2008. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  14. ^ Teper, Shannon. "Winter's Tail". Highlights Teachers. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  15. ^ Barry, John (5 December 2008). "Winter's tale: Saving Winter". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  16. ^ Aven, Daniel (11 February 2009). ""Bionic" Dolphin Getting New Tail". CBS News. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  17. ^ Ziemba, Stan (10 June 2009). "First artificial tail for a dolphin leads to breakthrough for human amputees". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  18. ^ McCarthy, Ellen (21 December 2011). "Tale behind the tail: true story of dolphin's second chance". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  19. ^ "Dolphin's new tail can help human amputees". The Associated Press. 26 August 2007. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  20. ^ Lloyd, Paula (23 September 2011). "Dolphin tail technology used to help Clovis girl". The Fresno Bee. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  21. ^ "Finding 'Teachable Moments' In Animal Tales". All Things Considered. NPR. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  22. ^ Lodge, Sally (17 December 2009). "Scholastic's 'Winter's Tail' Makes Waves". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  23. ^ "Dolphin Tale". IMDB. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  24. ^ Smoot, Cynthia (5 December 2011). "Birds, broken limbs, and second chances". My Fox Tampa Bay. Retrieved 7 January 2012. 
  25. ^ Bonanno, Luke. "Dolphin Tale: Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy Review". Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  26. ^ MacDonald, Warren (2004). A Test of Will: One Man's Extraordinary Story of Survival. Vancouver: D&M Publishers Inc. p. 208. ISBN 1-55365-064-6. 
  27. ^ Stanfield, Morgan (1 June 2009). "Warren Macdonald: Indomitable Will". The O&P Edge. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 

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