What injury did you sustain?
Both legs were shattered above the knee. My left leg was amputated above the knee. Following multiple cleansings, I received surgery to place a metal plate in my right leg. Mere bone fragments remained at the time of surgery. Fist-sized, concave wounds to flesh and muscle on both inside thighs required skin grafts, followed by several months of daily dressing and healing. Today, my left stump is healed and functional. This is very important to facilitate walking with a prosthetic left leg. My right leg has grown a strong, solid femur, complemented by the metal plate. The wounds are healed as well.
When did this injury occur?
How long was the recovery process?
August 25, 2010 to the present. Recovery and adaptation are ongoing processes.
What provided you the motivation and drive to press on through the difficult times after sustaining the injury?
I must first say that my faith in God, and His angels who were watching over me that day, gave me the motivation to do my part in this rehabilitation period in my life. I also have had immeasurable love and help from my wife, Carol, and my son, Shane, who have gone way above and beyond to make sure that my quality of life is all that it can be.
| There are so many who have sustained injuries much worse than mine, and this gives me the motivation to do all that I can to make the most of what I have left. You just have to say,”This is what I have left, so make the most of what you have left.” I feel so fortunate that I still have my right leg, because I am able to drive anything with an automatic transmission, so I am able to get myself to wherever I need to be. I am not paralyzed or brain damaged, and except for a missing left leg, I am able to perform most of the tasks that I never thought that I would be able to do again.
How did the injury you sustained shape your character in who you are today?
“It was bad enough, but it could have been so much worse.” These are the thoughts that I continually think about each day. You have two choices: One, you can give up and just say, “I’m not the person that I used to be, so why bother to try?” That is a narrow way of dealing with the problem, because there are those in your family and your circle of friends that are affected also. Don’t throw their love and concern away!
Two: You can say, “Yes, this is a bad deal, and it shouldn’t have happened to me, but it did happen, so take what you have left and make the most of what you have left.” We are only on this earth for a short while, so whether we are whole, or part of the whole person, make the most of what is left.
Since the injury, how has life changed for you?
First of all, there are things that I can’t do anymore, and I just have to accept my limitations. I used to ride a Harley, and I really hated to give it up, but I am not able to safely ride a motorcycle, so it’s gone. I am unable to drive anything with a standard transmission, so that is out. I have given up farm work, which includes a lot of outside activities that require extensive walking. I don’t climb ladders, that sort of thing.
I have learned to enjoy each day, and look upon it as a gift. There are so many things that I didn’t take the time to enjoy, or things that I just took for granted, not knowing that they can be taken away in a heart-beat. The saying, “Take time to smell the roses” sort of says it all. Enjoy your family, your pets, the sunrise, the new fallen snow, etc. Little things in life that you notice and enjoy are what life is about.