Showing posts with label amputee. Show all posts
Showing posts with label amputee. Show all posts

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Inspirational Amputee: "It's so life-altering, but it's not life-ending."

San Diego amputee war veteran on a path to inspire

ABC 10 News
By: Amanda Brandeis
Feb 06, 2020
Doc ultimately made US Naval and Marine Corps history after becoming the first amputee Corpsman assigned to an infantry unit.

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - After losing his leg in Iraq, a San Diego veteran is accomplishing more at age 34 than most do in a lifetime.

"I love being active because of that inspiration it gives other people. I know a lot of people, especially new amputees, that I come across, they think that their time is up," said Doc Jacobs, a medically retired Navy Corpsman.

Doc was only 18 months into his service when his platoon endured an IED explosion.

He underwent 78 surgeries, losing his left leg (below the knee), three toes from his right foot, and three partial fingers from his left hand.

But he wasn't done serving his country.

"It's so life-altering, but it's not life-ending."

Doc ultimately made US Naval and Marine Corps history after becoming the first amputee Corpsman assigned to an infantry unit.

"I did another six-and-a-half years overall, from detonation to discharge."
read it here

Friday, January 10, 2020

Vietnam veteran lost both legs twice...after they were repossessed

UPDATE After uproar, 'a ray of sunshine:' VA promises vet new prosthetic legs

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says it will make a new pair of prosthetic legs for a Mississippi veteran after his were repossessed two days before Christmas.

Jerry Holliman, a 69-year-old, two-time Bronze Star recipient, had his legs amputated over the past two years after his diabetes worsened.

Without legs, the once-independent Hattiesburg resident was resigned to a nursing home. Anxiety and depression dimmed his hope, Holliman said, and he felt trapped.
read it here

A company repossessed and returned a vet's prosthetic legs. He still can't use them

Mississippi Clarion Ledger
Giacomo Bologna
Jan. 9, 2020
Holliman served active duty in the U.S. Army twice — as an 18-year-old specialist who volunteered to fight in Vietnam and as a 53-year-old master sergeant in Iraq. He earned Bronze Stars in both wars, according to his discharge papers. Between active duty and the U.S Army National Guard, Holliman said he served 40 years in the military.

Veteran says his prosthetic legs were taken, then returned, but he still can't use them ... and go home
COLLINS — A man walked into a nursing home for military veterans two days before Christmas, picked up Jerry Holliman's legs and left.

Holliman, 69, had hopes of moving back to his home in Hattiesburg and returning to an independent lifestyle with his new prosthetic legs.

Then they were repossessed.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs wouldn't pay for his prosthetic legs, Holliman said, and Medicare wanted him on the hook for co-pays. As Holliman tried to navigate what felt like a maze of paperwork, it felt like his country was forgetting him.

"Medicare did not send me to Vietnam," Holliman said. "I was sent there by my country... with the understanding that if something bad happened to me, that it would be covered by the VA."

On Dec. 23, an employee from Hanger came to the Veterans Home to see Holliman. Holliman said the man was adjusting his prosthetic legs, then asked himto sign some paperwork for Medicare.

Holliman said he declined because the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs should pay for the legs in full.

"This is their responsibility," Holliman said.

The man responded by taking the legs and leaving.
read it here

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Amputee Iraq Veteran Rides Again With Restored Faith

Canton veteran who lost leg rides again thanks to customized motorcycle

By Kelly Byer
January 5, 2020

Charles Zollicoffer on the trike he received from CAMVETS
Challenge America: Makers For Veterans helped Charles Zollicoffer ride a motorcycle for the first time in eight years.

More importantly, he said, the fall program renewed his faith in humanity.

“I was left for dead on the side of the road,” he said. “So, during my time in this last seven or eight years, I have lost a lot of faith in people. A lot.”

In 2011, a drunken driver pulled in front of Zollicoffer’s 1995 Kawasaki motorcycle on state Route 800. The now retired U.S. Marine Corps and Army National Guard veteran had completed three tours in Iraq and was scheduled for deployment to Afghanistan.

Another person came across the early morning wreck and stopped to help. Zollicoffer, a 53-year-old Canton resident, spent months in a coma and had his left leg amputated at the hip.

This past Veteran’s Day, he received a modified trike at the Makers For Veterans closing ceremony. His family’s safety concerns had kept Zollicoffer from pursuing a costly trike, but they talked and accepted what it meant to him beforehand.

He’s taken a few rides.

“I can’t even describe the feeling, when you get that wind blowing through your hair,” joked Zollicoffer, who has a shaved head. read it here

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Nursing assistant accused of ripping off disabled amputee veteran with PTSD and dementia

Nursing Assistant Accused Of Taking Money From Disabled Veteran
By D'Ann Lawrence White, Patch Staff
Sep 25, 2019

BAYONET POINT, FL — A 38-year-old nursing assistant was arrested after Pasco County Sheriff's deputies said she took money from a disabled veteran with dementia.
A 38-year-old nursing assistant was arrested after Pasco County Sheriff's deputies said she stole money from a disabled veteran with dementia. (Pasco Sheriff)

Allyn Lopez of Shade Street Court in Hudson was charged with exploitation of the elderly/disabled Tuesday after the sheriff's office said she had her patient write two checks to her totaling $6,000.

The patient, who is also an amputee, was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and dementia in 2017. The sheriff's office said Lopez befriended the patient while working as a certified nursing assistant from October 2016 and July 2019 at the Bayonet Point assisted living facility where he lives.
read it here

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Disabled veteran kicked out of Florida VA Congressman?

VA secretary, congressman feud over office space inside Florida hospital

Stars and Stripes
Published: September 16, 2019
“It does something good for our veterans while not hurting anybody,” Mast said. “If you really want to understand a problem… you have to get your eyes on it and witness it yourself. I want to have an office in the VA so I can have my eyes on it, so my staff can have their eyes on what’s going right and wrong on a daily basis.”
VA Secretary Robert Wilkie, left, says Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., right, misled the public over Mast's eviction from his congressional office inside a VA hospital.
WASHINGTON – Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie accused a Florida congressman of misleading the public Friday after the lawmaker expressed outrage at being evicted from his congressional office inside a VA hospital.

The VA sent eviction notices to six members of Congress at the end of August, booting them and their staffs out of their offices inside VA hospitals in West Palm Beach and Orlando. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., an Afghanistan War veteran and double amputee who in 2017 opened the first-ever congressional office inside a VA hospital, accused the agency of trying to avoid transparency and accountability.

On “Fox and Friends” last week, Mast referenced a tense exchange between he and Wilkie at a hearing in April, during which Mast pressed the secretary to visit the West Palm Beach VA hospital after a doctor there was shot by a patient.

Following the “Fox and Friends” interview, Wilkie wrote the congressman, alleging he made false implications about the VA’s decision to remove the lawmakers from their offices by the end of December.
read it here

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Marine veteran "ain't heavy" for his brother Marine

Veteran carries fellow Marine to Utah mountain summit: 'We're all a band of brothers'

FOX News
By David Montanaro
August 27, 2019
Phil Casper wrote, "They sought no special attention. The disabled vet said he weighed 135 lbs. They were committed to reach the summit. Having just exhausted myself to reach the summit with less than 5 lbs on my back, it was hard to fathom the drive that the pair possessed to achieve their goal. To have arrived where I met them was already an incredible accomplishment. It was a powerful and inspiring experience to see them on their way."
When it comes to the U.S. Marines, one of their core beliefs is to leave no man behind.

That motto was on full display last week when retired Marine Sgt. John Nelson was caught on video carrying his friend and fellow Marine, Staff Sgt. Jonathon Blank, to the summit of Utah's Mount Timpanogos.

Blank lost his legs in an explosion in Afghanistan in 2010, with Nelson nearby when the blast occurred. The two, who served together on long-range reconnaissance missions, joined "Fox & Friends" Tuesday to detail the inspirational journey, which spanned 14 miles and 4,500 feet of elevation.

The sight of Nelson carrying Blank, who weighs about 135 pounds, on his back left two fellow hikers in awe and one shared the video on Facebook.
read it here

Monday, August 12, 2019

Veteran lost caregiver because "no progress" made....he's a triple amputee

Veterans Urge Changes Before Expansion Of VA Caregivers Program

AUG 8, 2019
"I got a letter saying that I was out of the program because the veteran hasn't shown any progress since 2011," said Alicia. "I asked them, 'What do you mean by progress?' "
Matt shakes hands with members of the Warrior Games community after his race. "I got a letter saying that I was out of the [caregivers] program because the veteran hasn't shown any progress since 2011," Alicia said. "I asked them, 'What do you mean by progress?' " EVE EDELHEIT FOR NPR
There are times when retired Staff Sgt. Matt Lammers doesn't look like he needs anyone's help — like when he was competing, and winning, races at the Department of Defense Warrior Games in Tampa, Fla., this summer.

"We don't like to say the word 'can't' in our family," says Matt, who lost both his legs above the knee and his left arm to an explosion during his second deployment to Iraq in 2007.
Matt won medals at the games in Tampa for sitting volleyball, swimming and indoor rowing. At the end of the games, the U.S. Army gave him the "heart of the team" award. But he and his wife almost didn't attend, because they were short on cash to make the trip after Alicia was cut from the Department of Veterans Affairs' caregiver program last December because Matt had not "consistently engaged in treatment," according to a letter from the VA. Alicia had been Matt's official caregiver for most of eight years.

"It felt like a stab in the back, like what I do is not worth it in their opinion, like I'm not part of their team like I thought I was," she says.
read it here

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Puppy with Missing Leg Adopted by Amputee Veteran

The military veteran, who lost his leg after an IED exploded, adopted a dog who had lost its leg

By Matt McNulty
August 03, 2019
Puppy with Missing Leg Adopted by Amputee Veteran: 'It's Impossible to Not Smile Around Him'

“It’s impossible to not smile around him,” Ferguson said. “Everybody’s so happy to see him, then they notice he’s got 3 legs. He’s happy you were overjoyed to see him, don’t pity him!”
A military veteran from Tennessee who lost his leg after an IED explosion found a new best friend after adopting a dog with a missing leg.

Joshua Ferguson took home three-legged Scooter on Thursday, after adopting the pup from the Humane Society of Dickson County in Dickson, according to WTVF in Nashville.

“He makes it easier for me to remember, hey it’s still a beautiful day,” Ferguson said Scooter. “You realize really just how tremendous a journey life is.”

Scooter was discovered with a severed leg in a wooded area at Johnson Creek near Burns, Tennessee, in June, with veterinarians believing the dog got his leg stuck and was forced to gnaw it off in order to free himself and find food, WTVF reported.

The dog’s mangled leg was eventually amputated at the Animal Medical Hospital.
read it here

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Abused Pit Bull and Disabled Veteran find healing together

New Beginning for Abused Pit Bull, Franky, and Combat Veteran

Clarksville Now
By Jessica Goldberg
June 15, 2019
Retired Sergeant Major Chris Self, is no stranger to overcoming adversity. An Army Special Forces veteran, Self has also served as a military police K-9 officer. In 2005, Self sustained gunshot wounds to both his legs. In 2006, he had to have his right leg amputated to return to active duty.
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (CLARKSVILLENOW) – What some thought may be the end of one dog’s life, turned into a beautiful new beginning. Courage, tenacity, and the strength to overcome brought one Fort Campbell solider and man’s best friend together. Franky, the pit bull discovered earlier this year suspected of being used as a bait dog, has finally found a forever home.

On Friday, Retired Army Sergeant Major, Chris Self, was surprised at Nashville International Airport with 18-month-old Franky. “It’s a boy,” shouted Dana Self, Chris Self’s wife. Chris Self bent down to meet his new companion.

Montgomery County Animal Control received a call April 14 to pick up a dog. What they saw shocked everyone. A pit bull with gruesome head injuries, including half his scalp missing and ear flaps ripped off. Maggots infested the open wounds. Bite marks surrounding his head, neck, and legs, coupled with the other injuries led authorities to believe this poor creature had been used as a bait dog in dog fighting.
read more here

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Crooks robbed Vietnam Veteran while he was in coma

update Suspects Arrested 

BOSTON (CBS) – A man and woman charged with burglarizing the home of a Vietnam veteran while he was fighting for his life in the hospital claimed they needed money so one of their dogs could have surgery.

Police said 35-year-old Joseph Migliaccio, of Woonsocket, R.I. and 31-year-old Sarah Hampton, of Sudbury, burglarized the home three times over the weekend. They broke into the house in broad daylight, authorities say, while the veteran, Gene Rano, is fighting for his life in the hospital.

Boston 25 News
By: Heather Hegedus
Apr 11, 2019
Rano's son says he thinks he has seen the pair in his father's home socializing with him and he tells Boston 25 News he feels disgusted they may have preyed on the home knowing Rano was in the hospital.

MARLBOROUGH, Mass. - Two people have been arrested after Marlborough Police say surveillance video showed them breaking into a house while a Vietnam veteran was in the hospital fighting for his life.

Last week, 68-year-old Gene Rano was hospitalized after suffering serious burns to more than 40% of his body while burning brush near his home.

Rano is currently in a coma at Massachusetts General Hospital after doctors amputated both of his legs.
read more here

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Feet Jensen knows no limits to healing

Disabled U.S. veterans reach new heights, find hope at sports clinic in Snowmass

The Aspen Times
Erica Robbie
April 3, 2019

Feet Jensen believes he is a better version of himself today than he was more than 10 years ago before an explosion in Iraq nearly killed him and destroyed his legs.
Despite losing his limbs and suffering countless health complications since that life-changing moment in November 2008, the former Army combat medic chalks up the experience to being a blessing.

“I’ve learned so much, (and) I like this guy a whole lot better than that other guy,” Jensen, who legally changed his first name to Feet after the accident, said Monday at the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic in Snowmass Village.

Along with amputating his legs from near the knee down, Jensen, 33, lost much of his upper-body strength, suffers severe nerve damage and has undergone 108 surgeries.

These are only the physical ramifications of Jensen’s time serving in Iraq. Psychologically, he experiences many of the same mental health issues that can haunt wartime veterans, including survivor guilt and post-traumatic stress disorder.
read more here

Friday, March 29, 2019

Vietnam veteran from Orlando inspiring all generations

Triple amputee Vietnam War veteran from Rochester shares testimony; inspires thousands

FOX 47 News
“I think if you have a passion and a drive and a courage and a willingness to live and move forward. I think that’s my message to everybody out there is don’t let anything stand in your way of a burning desire that you’ve got to accomplish something. Mine was just to live life.” Jim Sursely
ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX47) – Triple amputee Vietnam veteran Jim Sursely is shared his story of perseverance, courage and hope Thursday.

Sursely, a native of Rochester, is a former National Commander for the 1.3 million members of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV).

After graduating from Lourdes High School, Sursely joined the army in 1966. Two years later, he was sent to Vietnam assigned to the Americal Division’s 17th Armored Cavalry.

During a combat mission in January of 1969, Sursely’s life changed forever when he stepped on an enemy landmine during a perimeter check.

“At like 6:15 in the evening, bang. And you know blew me about 20-25 feet in the air, tramatically amputated all three of my limbs just because of the force of the explosion. ” Said Sursely.

“The thing that actually saved my life was it went up in a gigantic ball of flame. It was not shrapnel. It was not a metallic landmine. And that gigantic ball of flame helped cauterize my arteries, keep me from bleeding to death.”

Sursely says 3-4 weeks after the explosion, in a Japanese hospital, is when he fully comprehended the trauma he experienced. He credits sharing experiences and physically training with other amputees as a major help to his recovery.

After returning to the country and recovering from his injuries, Sursely met and married his wife. They have 4 children and 12 grandchildren.

Now Jim spends much of his time sharing his story in hopes of helping others overcome their challenges.
read more here

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The Resilient, band like no other

"We just wear our scars on the outside": Band of wounded warriors healing through music

March 25, 2019
"There's something about it, that just, the motivation, the drive, the just the soul of it. It doesn't feel it can go anywhere but up," Donley said.

Bethel, Pa. — In a house in the woods in the middle of Pennsylvania, some of the most important music in America is being played by a band called The Resilient. But you don't need to be a music critic to say that. All you have to do is look.

Nate Kalwicki on guitar lost his right leg in Afghanistan. Marcus D'Andrea on bass lost both legs. So did lead vocalist Tim Donley. Juan Dominguez lost both legs and an arm, yet somehow plays the drums with a special pedal and drum stick. He's not some novelty act.

"I am a drummer. I am the drummer for The Resilient and we're gonna do big things," Dominquez said.

The only member of The Resilient with all his body parts is Greg Loman, a professional musician who met the others in their darkest hour, searching for a purpose in life while recovering from their wounds.

"Through the recovery we all discovered this really intense passion for honest musicianship and they've all gotten so good," Loman said.
read more here

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Alive Day 50 years later Vietnam Veteran met Medic

50 years later, Orlando Vietnam veteran meets medic who saved him: 'Thank you! Thank you!'

Orlando Sentinel
Kate Santich
March 15, 2019
“All this time, we were living just a couple of counties apart,” said Joyner, shaking his head at the man across the table. “All this time, I just wanted to thank him for saving my life.”
Longwood’s Dennis Joyner had to wait 50 years to thank the man who saved his life in Vietnam.

Joyner, now 70, was a 20-year-old infantryman with a wife and newborn son on June 26, 1969, when he tripped a landmine while on patrol. The explosion blew off one of his legs and shredded the other so badly it had to be amputated. It took off his left arm below the elbow.
He might easily have bled to death or died of shock or infection. But a young medic with a Tennessee accent sprinted to his side, helping to tie a series of tourniquets around his limbs, administering morphine and ferrying him to a medevac helicopter.

On Friday, at the Old Florida Grill and Oyster House near Cocoa, one of Dewey “Doc” Hayes’ favorite haunts, Joyner finally got the chance he’d wanted for half a century.

The words rushed out in a torrent.

“Thank you! Thank you!” he said, his body shaking with emotion as Hayes, now 70 too, embraced him.

“I’ve been trying to find you for so damn long,” Joyner said. “You been hiding?”

After five surgeries and five months in various hospitals, Joyner had gone back to college before working as a court administrator in Pennsylvania and as a volunteer for the Disabled American Veterans, the organization created by Congress to help wounded vets and their families. In 1977, he was named the nation's “Handicapped American of the Year,” and he served as national commander of the DAV in 1983 and ’84, work he continues to this day.
read more here

Friday, March 15, 2019

Gary Sinise Foundation gave Veteran and family new place to be welcomed home

Wounded North Texas Army Veteran, Family Get Free Home: ‘I Can’t Say Enough How Great This Place Is’

CBS 11 News
By J.D. Miles
March 14, 2019

ARGYLE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – There were tears of gratitude in Argyle where a wounded veteran and his family moved into a new home.
It was donated by the Gary Sinise Foundation which creates more accessible homes for deserving veterans and first responders.

A parade of veterans led the escort to where Jake Murphy and his wife raised the American flag outside their new home.

“As years pass I’ll be able to live comfortably in a place that is customized to my specific needs,” said Ret. Army Captain Jake Murphy.

Murphy lost both of his legs in an explosion while serving in Afghanistan more than seven years ago.

His previous home was inaccessible for a wheelchair which he sometimes uses.
The new home has wider doorways, lower racks and faucets as well has tablet controlled lights and other home environment functions. “I can’t say enough how great this place is for me, Lisa and our children,” he said. The home is one of 71 gifted to wounded heroes across the country through the Gary Sinise Foundation. read more here

Travis Mills, finalist for Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s Citizen Honor Award

Travis Mills of Maine a finalist for national award honoring courage and sacrifice

Press Herald
March 7, 2019

Mills, a combat-wounded veteran and quadruple amputee, established a foundation and opened a retreat center for veterans in Maine.

Travis Mills has been selected as a finalist for the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s Citizen Honor Award, according to 1st District U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine.

Pingree in a statement Thursday said that Mills was one of 20 finalists for the award. Four citizens will be selected to receive the citizens’ honor from living Medal of Honor recipients.

Retired Army Staff Sgt. Travis Mills. Photo by Elise Klysa

“To be selected as a finalist for this national award is a great honor in itself and a fitting one for a veteran who has inspired so many,” Pingree said. 

“Travis Mills’ hard-fought physical recovery after being critically injured by an IED in Afghanistan demonstrates a resilience and inner strength we can learn from.”
read more here

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Iraq veteran shown lots of love....and horsepower!

Central Florida veterans gave wounded veteran extra horsepower!

Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
March 10, 2019

Today at the Horsepower Ranch, several veterans groups got onto their motorcycles...(horses would take too long) and helped Patrick Wickens, who lost his leg in Iraq...but has not lost his love of riding...a motorcycle, gain a huge smile!