LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) -- A Louisville man who had his leg amputated is able to walk again thanks to a Kentuckiana-based company.
WDRB's Sterling Riggs recently spoke with James Green and learned about his journey of hope and determination.
It's a beautiful March day in old Louisville. Sixty-year old James R. Green pushes a wheelchair down the very street he once ran through as a kid.
"Believe me; I am going to do well with my first step," said Green. "Two steps next time, and three. I'll do whatever it takes. I'm going to get better. I'll probably be walking in no time, knowing me. I am not going to let anything hold me down. Nothing."
A quick glance into his eyes reveals that determination fills his inner spirit to one day walk again. He noticed a small infection in his foot a few months ago. Little did he know, the infection would drastically change his life.
"It seemed like the foot was not healing at all," said Green. "They did everything they could to help, but in the back of my mind, I knew I was going to lose this foot eventually."
The diabetic's wound did not heal, and the infection quickly spread. He went to a Louisville doctor for treatment and learned that his left leg had to be amputated from the shin down.
"I told them, 'Do what you've got to do, because I want to live," said Green.
Green's strong spirit drives him to conquer the challenges that lie ahead. The next stage in his recovery is a visit to Kentucky Prosthetics. It's a place where amputees are given hope and the opportunity to one day walk again. A 3-D scanner measures the exact dimensions of his leg. Specialists then make a prosthetic limb in-house. Owner Matthew Hayden showed us how the process works and allowed WDRB's Sterling Riggs to help out.
"What we are creating now for Mr. Green is the socket," said Hayden. "The other day, we took a three dimensional scan of the limb, made a foam cover which is a positive model. Now we are making a negative socket of the limb that it will fit down into."
A vacuum pulls the plastic down on the model to create the perfect fit. The excess plastic is cut off, and the final piece is then shaped. It took Green's wound several weeks to heal, and he's now ready to receive his new leg. He wheeled into Kentucky Prosthetics for the last time; today he will walk out. This is a moment he has thought about thousands of times since he learned his leg had to be amputated. Finally, after nearly three months of wondering whether he would ever walk again, Green did what he said he was going to do.
"You can't feel sorry for yourself when you lose a limb," Green said. "We are not guaranteed on this earth that things will be perfect. Sometimes you might lose something, but what you lose you will gain back through spirit. It all comes back; look at that!"
He will need several months of rehab to get comfortable on his feet again. But he won the battle; he walked out of the same office he was wheeled into.
"It makes me feel like a King. It makes me feel like God has blessed me again."