Asheville patient Joe joined the Marine Corps out of college in 1984. He started in the Air Naval Fire Liaison (ANGLICO) and cross-decked to Recon where he spent the next 20 years. He retired as a Platoon Sergeant of RCT 5 after his 5th tour in Iraq and 20 year Marine career. Joe is proud to say, after fighting for our country for 20 years as a Marine, he retired with all 10 fingers and 10 toes. Unfortunately, an old injury caught up with him and it was “off with his foot” via a transtibial amputation on Valentine’s Day of 2018.
He was up and walking using an i-walk 11 days post-op. He says the psychological impact of standing was HUGE. He was fit with his first prosthesis April 16 and started walking day one; he was up and running on his running leg on April 26th.
He has some advice to offer anyone who might find themselves in a similar situation:
“Do everything you can think of to try to get back to where you were. Don’t rush the healing process. Ask yourself everyday: if this is all I get, is it enough?…If no, then find another platform. Focus on what you can still do; do not look back, the worst thing you can do is look back. The leg is gone, move forward, everything is in forward motion. Accept that this is how you live now, don’t try to live like you did with 2 legs. Live like you live now. Accept help and equipment and tools and programs. Don’t do everything the hard way.
“I’ve walked my whole life. I started walking when I was 9 months old before my muscles knew how. I’ve just had to learn a different way to walk again. They cut off my leg, not my brain. There is going to be pain, there will be a price to pay, be smart enough to recognize your limitations.”
“They cut off my leg, not my brain. There is going to be pain, there will be a price to pay, be smart enough to recognize your limitations.”
Joe hooked up with Ability Prosthetics and Orthotics through his local Asheville VA and is now working with Amira Mouad, CPO. Gears of War decorative lamination by #Titan O & P Fabrications. @Ossur Proflex Pivot foot.