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 HeadlinesBuying a Home is Still Better Than RentingRoseville, CA-- Home prices continue to rise faster than incomes and new employment, but it is still more cost efficient to own a home than to rent.
Parking Fees being levied at Hidden FallsAUBURN, Calif. -- Placer County's Hidden Falls Regional Park in North Auburn is a gem of a park. Unfortunately, parking can be hard to find, especially during weekends
$22.5 Million Approved for Placer County BuildingsAUBURN, Calif. -- Placer County Board of Supervisors approve an investment plan that will allocate a minimum of $4.5 million annually over the next five years
Placer SPCA Sees Success in Waiving Adoption FeesRoseville, Calif. - Adoption fees are waived for all animals, without exception, at the Placer SPCA during the month of August for its "full hearts, empty kennels" campaign
Classic Car Show in Grass Valley August 25(Grass Valley, CA) Cascades of Grass Valley, a senior living community located at 415 Sierra College Drive in Grass Valley, will be hosting a classic car show on Friday, August 25
Warriors Set to Start 2017 Volleyball CampaignROCKLIN, Calif. - The William Jessup women's volleyball team will start the season this week hosting the Warrior Invitational
Podcasts for Fundraising Professionals and DonorsWith that goal in mind, Eric Hogue and David Pineschi of William Jessup University are regularly producing light-hearted podcasts each month
Mono County Events for Scenic Adventure SeekersMONO COUNTY, Calif. - After record-setting snowfall that refilled lakes and rivers, leaving glistening snow on high peaks and meadows below
Lowest Reported Gas Prices in RosevilleRoseville, CA- Gas prices in Roseville and Rocklin are holding relatively steady as residents shift from summer vacations back to school and work
WJU Volleyball signs Isabella MauricioROCKLIN, Calif. - The women's volleyball head coach, Shasta Millhollin announced the signing of Isabella Mauricio from Foster City, Calif. to the 2017-18 roster.
Foam Fest Craft Beer and Live Music Festival[Olympic Valley, Calif.] - Achieve Tahoe (formerly Disabled Sports USA Far West) will host its 28th annual "Foam Fest" fundraising event
The Great Banquet in Roseville October 7thROSEVILLE, Calif., - Joni and Friends Sacramento will hold its fourth bi-annual event titled "The Great Banquet" at Bayside Church in Roseville on October 7, 2017