In an attempt to avoid an April motor vehicle crash on I-40, motorcyclist Kent Stoneking swerved onto the shoulder and into the wet grass on the side of the roadway. His motorcycle slid on the grass, ultimately crashing and crushing his leg in the process.
Several surgeries later, Stoneking had only the hope that in a year or so he would be able to walk again. Pins had been placed in the bones of his leg to hold them together and stabilize the muscles, but he was still facing a long journey filled with pain and medications. Stoneking was also a type I diabetic and had to be vigilant about watching for signs of infection.
Ultimately, he made a choice that many may not have, given the same situation and, in fact, that many may not understand. Instead of fighting to keep the leg that was mangled in the Tennessee motorcycle crash, Stoneking opted for amputation. And he was up and walking again within a month of receiving a prosthetic leg.
Being Able to Run, Walk and Play With His Family Again
One reason that Stoneking opted for learning to live with a prosthesis versus fighting to keep his own leg was his lifestyle. He wanted to be able to run again, to play soccer and to play with his family. Doctors did not believe he would have been able to do so had he chosen to continue to try to save his leg.
Even after a catastrophic injury like Stoneking’s, advances in prostheses have allowed many to return to an active lifestyle after an amputation. Lightweight carbon parts, springs, silicone lining, and other advancements offer the opportunity to live life as it was before an injury that leads to amputation.
Stoneking said of his new prosthetic leg, “I feel like I’m wearing the Leg I was born with. It’s very natural to walk and move.”