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Fitting In By Standing Out - The Success Story of Dan Horkey 

After a motorcycle accident in 1985, for a brief period of time, I was embarrassed to go out in public wearing a prosthetic leg and when I used crutches without my prostheses. For many years, I chose to wear the cosmosis spray on skin cosmetics, and after a couple of alignment adjustments made by my prosthetist, the skin would have glued patched look and the flexible skin would tear easily if you rub up against something sharp and these covers get dirty after time. I decided to wear my prosthetic more openly and discontinued wearing the foam shaped skin cover.

The prosthesis was never something I thought I should hide. If anything, I felt I was promoting awareness and public acceptance by wearing shorts in public.

I’ve seen a few amputees wearing laminated fabric over the last 20 years, but I didn’t know where to purchase it. It was not readily available and was never a cosmetic choice offered to me. I was happy to wear the exposed, braided carbon look when that hit the market in the 90’s, but after awhile, the black look didn’t excite me anymore.

Between 2004-2006, I was employed at Hanger Tacoma, WA as an Orthotic and Prosthetic Technician. I learned how to fabricate braces and sockets and operated and maintained the Insignia CAM Carver. This opportunity gave me a chance to carve out and make my very own personal socket. This time, I wanted my leg to be different.

I found fabric in a store that had ” flames of fire “ that I laminated onto my prosthetic, creating my very first tattoo. I received so many compliments on how cool my leg was from strangers and children everywhere I went.

When I put the piece of art on my socket, I stood tall, and my self-esteem was higher.

I was motivated to start a business offering the world of color and art for people who wear Orthotic Braces and Prosthetic Limbs. I want to help fellow amputee’s with acceptance, pride and courage by empowering them to express their individualistic ideas through custom orthotic tattoo. The result is a beautiful design of the client’s choosing, including custom work.

The art is airbrushed and hand-painted onto carbon braid substates. We can also airbrush over pigments, PRS color line and we prime and prep these substrates smooth and paint a basecoat color of the patients choice, all with automotive colors. Before we apply clear coats, patients sign off on the art by means of photos, all done by email and pictures. After patient accepts the art, we then seal in the art in to protect from slight nicks and door dings. The finishes are of durable quality, similar to those used for custom paint jobs on hot rods and motorcycles. Dan Horkey has a Patent pending process of custom painted automotive finishes, airbrushed and hand-painted cosmetic and many other art designs that vastly expands the options beyond the laminated fabric choices currently available.

Hence, Global Tattoo Orthotic Prosthetic Innovations (GTOPI) was started in 2008 to help fellow amputee’s fit in by standing out and began serving men, women and children around the globe. Dan Horkey created his own socket and applied his first tattoo, thereby initiating the tattooed prosthetic concept and is the founder of GTOPI located in Port Orchard, Washington.

Achievements: GTOPI is providing services to veterans through the Veterans Administration and to other fellow amputees. (GTOPI) located in Port Orchard, WA announces an achievement of becoming a Contractor for the United States government, listed in the Central Contractor Registry (CCR).
Prior to completing the CCR registry, GTOPI was commissioned to provide OandP custom cosmetics for veterans through the VA Puget Sound Veterans Hospital in Seattle, WA and Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC).

Great News for your Veteran patients!

Recently, I received notice from VA Prosthetics (PSAS) with encouragement to begin marketing my services to all VA hospitals.

GTOPI custom cosmetic services are now available to Veterans of America through VA Hospitals and VA Contractor clinics across the United States,
and covered at 100%.

For more information about GTOPI, go to or call (360) 895 1976.


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Peter Bately : re: Fitting In By Standing Out - The Success Story of Dan Horkey commented on Wednesday, November 23, 2022 6:13:16 AM
I am also inspired to launch a company that would introduce people who wore orthotics braces and prosthetic limbs to the world of color and art. Visit here: Junk Removal in Rancho Cucamonga CA

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