Double Amputee Lives for Yet Another Day
For personal reasons, "Billy" did not want his real name revealed here. He lives in the Midwest as a double-leg, below-knee amputee and has had more brushes with death than most people.
In a telephone interview, 59-year-old Billy said, "The first incident (affecting me) was on July 3, 1971, when my parents were on vacation and my friend and I got some gasoline to mow a lawn. We used an ice cream pail to hold the gas and decided to screw around."
Billy and his friend played with firecrackers around the gas, the gas became ignited, and Billy caught fire and had extensive leg burns. An off-duty fireman nearby saved Billy's life after tackling him to the ground, but Billy would have lifelong PTSD-related symptoms from the incident.
Then ten years ago, Billy learned he had diabetes after having a diabetic seizure while driving his automobile, but survived the ordeal because his children were there to help.
He said, "Then in September 2014, I had a (diabetic-related) sore on my toe. It wouldn't heal and it kept growing and doctors decided to amputate. After they took my toe off, I had septic shock and had to be airlifted to a better-equipped hospital where they ended up amputating my left leg off below-knee." While at the hospital, Billy "died" for 30 minutes before doctors revived him.
"Then I went to rehab, returned home, and was home only two weeks before I started getting sick again," he said. "I passed out and was taken to the hospital, where they said I had too much potassium in my blood, which was affecting my heart. I flat-lined again and was 'dead' another 30 minutes before being revived. The people at the hospital called me 'Cat Man' because I had so many lives."
In May 2015, he lost his other leg below-knee to amputation and was fitted for a second prosthesis. As if that weren't enough, last December he had a heart attack. Doctors tried airlifting once again, but had to settle for a closer hospital because of the helicopter having to face poor flying conditions. Billy had a stent placed in his heart and was sent off for rehabilitation.
He said to people with disabilities going through life-threatening difficulties: "Don't give up. Trust in God that he will take care of you. I'm here on Earth yet for some reason. Just be strong and go with the flow."
Sponsored by Blue Valley Sod.
Daniel J. Vance is a licensed professional counselor and national certified counselor from Vernon Center, Minn. His weekly newspaper column Disabilities has been published in more than 260 newspapers.
Daniel J. Vance may be reached at www.danieljvance.com
Placer County News HeadlinesHoliday in the Hills on the Placer Wine Trail in DecemberRoseville, CA, - Come join us and help celebrate the holidays on the Placer Wine Trail to benefit Toys for Tots. Enjoy the holidays in Placer County
How the Grinch Stole Christmas Comes to Life at This EventSacramento, Calif. - Dr. Seuss' beloved holiday tale "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" will come to life at Fairytale Town's annual Winter Wonderland event.
California Bowl in Roseville November 24- 26Roseville, CA - Nov. 16, 2017 -One of the most competitive and exciting youth football tournaments on the west coast returns to Roseville over Thanksgiving weekend.
Kids with Disabilities to Get Help with Telemedicine Program (Sacramento, Calif.) - The UC Davis Department of Pediatrics has received a $2 million, five-year grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to fund a new telemedicine program
Gun Scare in Roseville at Woodcreek HighRoseville, CA, - Roseville Police find loaded handgun following alert from Woodcreek High Students.
Ford can 'Focus' on its futureRoseville, CA,- Not many people are probably aware, but the Ford Focus has been among the top-selling cars in the world, and even held the top spot in 2013.
$1.5 Million in Grants for Sacramento-area NonprofitsRoseville, CA,- Kaiser Permanente has awarded 52 grants totaling more than $1.5 million to local not-for-profit organizations, schools and public entities in Sacramento, Yolo and Placer counties.
Roseville Gas Prices Up 20 Percent Year from Last YearRoseville, CA,- Gas prices in Roseville ticked up slightly this past week. Following on the heels on California's $5 billion a year gas tax hike
Holiday Safety Tips by Roseville Police Dept.Roseville, CA,- The holiday season is a busy and festive time. While you're busy preparing, criminals are stepping up their efforts to increase their holiday haul.
Fishing Club Monthly Breakfast in AuburnThe Rooster Tails Fishing Club monthly breakfast will be held at the Auburn Elks Lodge at 195 Pine Street in Auburn on November 17
Placer County Regional Bikeway Plan UpdateAs Placer County experiences dramatic growth in population, new homes and businesses, the popularity of cycling grows at the same time
Orange is New Pink 5K Walk for Breast CancerOrange is the New Pink 5K Walk for Breast Cancer will take place Sunday, Dec. 3 at Mandarin Hill Orchards in Penryn