12-year-old amputee inspires wounded warriors
Wednesday, May 23, 2012, 3:28:07 PM
Losing a limb can be a devastating result of a war injury for many servicemembers, but a 12-year-old runner who also had to get his leg amputated is providing some comfort. The boy, Andrew Hastings, may not have lost his leg in war, but his visits to veterans who have lost a limb on the battlefield is making the recovery process easier on everyone, The Salisbury Post reports.
Hastings, who had been known for his speed in triathalons and 5K races, had to get his left leg amputated after he was hit by a car while riding an all terrain vehicle. After he received his first prosthetic, he taught himself how to run again and was soon back in his favorite competitions. Now, he is helping veterans at the Hefner VA Medical Center learn that their injury does not have to be the end of their life.
He came across fellow amputees while visiting his grandfather, a former Marine, at the center, but now, two years later, he spends much of his time there, explaining to veterans how prosthetic limbs can help them return to their normal lives.
"I was inspiring people, and I got to hear their stories, so that was neat," he told the news outlet.
According to a 2012 report of U.S. military casualty statistics, 1,621 servicemembers have had a limb amputated following an injury from combat in Afghanistan or Iraq. The Department of Veterans Affairs has a Limb Loss Prevention Center to reduce limb loss and help troops cope with prosthetic limbs, but Hastings' story may give the push many veterans needed to deal with their injury. A number of servicememberts have benefited from the boy's positive outlook.
"There was one guy who was very despondent, but after talking with Andrew he was motivated and saw the potential in a full recovery," Dr. Mark Heuser, a geriatrics physician at the VA Medical Center, told the news outlet.
News brought to you by PCS-Lodging.com
- your one stop shop for military lodging
more Military Lifestyle...
Yoga used as a potential treatment for PTSD
Millions of people turn to yoga for its physical benefits, but one service member hopes its effects on mental well-being could help other troops battling the invisible wounds of war. 5/20/2013
Survey: Pay tops list of military families' concerns
It's no secret that the military is in the process of changing. With operations winding down in Afghanistan, thousands of troops slated to separate from service and the Department of Defense (DOD) looking to cut spending, there is likely a lot weighing on the minds of those in the military community. 5/16/2013
Many military families use refund checks to pay down debt
As military families get their tax refund checks, many of them are using the supplemental income to make sure their financial situation is stable, according to findings recently revealed by the First Command Financial Behaviors Index. 4/30/2013