Erika Brannock slides to the edge of her wheelchair.
She looks down at a pair of carefully selected gray New Balance athletic shoes. And stands.
Her thigh slides deeper into a flexible plastic socket as she shifts her weight from her right leg to a new prosthetic limb.
The bone where her left leg was amputated above the knee sends a sharp, shooting pain, and she starts to cry. Not because it hurts. Because she is about to walk again.
"It's been a long time," she says to her mother, Carol Downing, among those watching at an orthotics and prosthetics supplier in Linthicum.
One hundred and seventy-three days, to be exact. Almost six months since the...