BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – The number of injuries requiring amputation following the bombing has been sobering. We explored the question of recovery and the road ahead for the victims by asking for some perspective from people who know.
So how do you move forward after an amputation? We asked two local people who are living very full, active lives with artificial limbs who say the answer is simple- one step at a time.
Kimmie Champion started out life missing a limb. It never slowed her down.
“I started walking early I started walking at 7 and a half months which is a few months early, but that’s because they were pushing it on me,” said Champion.
Today she wears an artificial foot and leg attachment that she helped design.
“I grew up playing sports. I played basketball, softball, I ran cross country, and I ran track in high school. I was, I did really well, I made a few all-state teams,” said Champion.
She also won three wheelchair basketball national championships at the University of Alabama and just made the USA team for 2013.
In her job at Biotech Limb and Brace she often works with people who are recent amputees. She’s familiar with a lot of the common questions.
“Am I going to heal am I going to run again? I would just say take a deep breathe and take it one step at a time. You know you get through your physical therapy, get out of the hospital, find yourself a good um prosthetist get a leg, take it one step at a time and if you just kind of breathe and set goals for yourself eventually you will progress and you can run or bike or whatever you did previously in your life that you want to continue. Just take it one step at a time. Don’t’ think that oh my Gosh I have to be running at three months because that might not happen, it might happen, but chances are it might take some time, but you can get there,” said Champion.
“There’s a ton of technology out there already and they’re coming up with new technology every day.”
Chris Osborne lost his leg after a motorcycle accident.
“There are some pains that what I would call normal people don’t feel you know phantom pains, that you can’t describe to anybody,” said Osborne. “You know with my injury I knew that it was a compound fracture, much like the basketball player Ware from Louisville. And so I knew that obviously I was going to have to have surgery, but I had no clue that I was going to have to have my leg amputated until the following day and so certainly it was some shock there and so immediately you know my next question was okay what do I do from here? And you know in the recovery process I took some time I had great support from friends family my faith in God got me through, but uh it was one of those things, I just had to determine that life goes on,” said Osborne.”You know the thing about amputation it’s life altering, but it’s not life limiting.”