Friday, August 7, 2009

Young Amputee Inspires

Wesley Hughes lost his leg after
skiing accident

Updated: Thursday, 06 Aug 2009, 5:59 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 06 Aug 2009, 5:59 PM EDT

WASHINGTON - Nineteen-year-old Wesley Hughes can handle pretty much anything that comes his way.

Back on January 11, 2009, he was racing down a slope with his college ski team when he ran off the trail.

Wes told Fox 5, "I saw that I was gonna go off and it was almost like time froze. And then it was like - fast, fast."

He broke both bones, severed the main artery in his left leg, and lost a lot of blood.

Doctors told Wes he came close to dying that day. He survived, but he had to have his left leg amputated.

"I have been an adventurous type of person and always wanting to do this and that. I'm just taking this like a new challenge and learning how to do everything I can again," said Wes.

Three-and-a-half weeks after his accident, Wes was already walking on a prosthesis. He's posted his progress on You Tube and strangers message him for advice.

"I just wanna get back to normal as quick as possible and just go on with my life. And the fact that I am an inspiration is great. But I don't feel - I don't brag about it or anything," said Wes.

He has been out of the hospital for months, but returns often to Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital. He's there, not as a patient, but as an inspiration. Wes's doctor remembers the first time he saw him show up with a guitar.

Dr. Terrence Sheehan told us, "All of the sudden I saw him walking into the dining room where the patients are with his guitar and he said I'm coming up to play for them. It wasn't that he was asked or that it was scheduled or that it was planned. It's what Wesley wanted to do. He knew what they needed."

Wes says these days he doesn't need anything. He says his life will be a full one, nothing missing. Wes plans to return to West Virginia Wesleyan College this fall.

Remember his accident happened just six months ago. It may be a little while, but he is hoping to eventually get back out on the ski slopes.

He was a physics major all along. Now he knows he wants a career in biomedical engineering.

He's determined to build the perfect prosthesis, with no limits on what people can do.

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