Despite losing his lower leg in an auto accident, Lance Blair has been around the world, hiking the Peruvian Andes and the Yucatan jungles. His adventures are aided by a diesel-powered wheelchair.
Lance Blair was 18 when a truck blew a red light and removed his lower leg. “There was about a pinky-width of meat holding it on.” So Lance did the obvious thing: He built a diesel-powered wheelchair-accessible 4×4 adventure truck.
“The hip and pelvis were too damaged,” Lance told me. “Actually they told my mom I’d only make it until Monday.” Monday came and Lance was still alive. Cold comfort—he got to spend the next two months in intensive care. Then six months of therapy and a colostomy bag. “At 18 years old, pooing in a bag is way worse than losing your leg. You don’t talk to girls. You don’t socialize. Your whole self-confidence goes right out the window.
“The doctors didn’t think Lance was a good candidate for a prosthesis because of the extensive damage to the very place to which it would need to be attached, his hips and upper leg. So Lance lied to the prosthesis maker and told him that his orthopedic surgeon wanted him to have it. He was sick of being told how fast he should recover.
‘”There was no one around at that time who came to your hospital and said, ‘This is what your life’s going to be like now.’ I didn’t go to any support groups. I just started going back to work and started breaking quite a few prosthetics.”
He wasn’t breaking his prosthetic legs idly. Lance hiked the Peruvian Andes. He backpacked through the Yucatan jungles. He went all around the world. There were very few things in life he found that being a below-the-knee amputee prevented him from doing.
He became a nurse, and works with other
It’s the emotional drive that makes you transfer from your bed to the wheelchair. That makes you put your legs on. Or stop and take ‘em off, if that’s what you need to do. Working in the hospital kind of gives me that ability to be empathetic, to use my experiences to… you know, I can’t change anything for these people. I can’t say, ‘I can stick your leg back on.’ Or, ‘Hey, guess what? I can get you out of that wheelchair.’ But if nothing else, I can say, ‘I’ve been where you are. I laid in the bed. I pooped. I vomited. I did all that. I can’t make it any better, but I can make sure it’s not any worse than it has to be.'”
Good for him!
via Disabled Explorers In the World’s Most Badass Short Bus – Disabled explorers – Gizmodo.