Daniel’s Story

Victim Chad From supporter : Chad Welch Just wanted to say that you guys have an amazing cause…. I was in a near fatal motorcycle crash in 2005. I was hit head on by a drunk driver and it left me with a below knee amputation. Since then I have started back riding and also came to work in the prosthetic field where I am a certified amputee counselor. The job is the most rewarding thing I have ever experienced. I have came to learn that you have to live life like there is no tomorrow… Again you guys are amazing and thanks for everything you do…. Here is more in Chads words : On June 17th my father and I decided to take a ride to a custom shop to check the progress of my show truck. It was a warm day and seemed to be a perfect day for a ride. We left home and everything seemed great, I knew my dad didn’t like to ride through town so I decided to take back roads so he didn’t have to stop at so many red lights. When we turned on Hwy 521 I was riding ahead of him on the left side of our lane and he trailed behind me in the right hand side of our lane. I don’t remember this part but from what I was told a car tried to pass a big truck in the oncoming lane of our road. I guess I was trying to get out of his way cause dad said I locked up the brakes and started to slide towards the side of the road when he struck me on my left side. The impact threw me straight into the air and threw my bike towards my dad, he barely missed my bike and actually drove under me while I was in the air. The only part of the accident I remember is laying in my dad’s lap and saying “dad my leg hurts” his response was simple and I can still hear him saying it. He said “I know baby but don’t worry cause I have you”… I was airlifted to Columbia memorial hospital. My injuries consisted of my left foot crushed, left fibula was broke and torn through the skin, my left tibial was broke and torn through the skin, my left elbow was broke, my right wrist was crushed. And I had a ton of road rash. I stayed in the hospital for 2 months trying to save what was left of my leg and in the end decided to amputate due to infection. The decision was a pretty hard one to make, but I knew it had to be done. I left there and went through a few months of physical therapy. I started to regain enough strength to start doing normal thing such as bathing by myself and things in that order. The therapy helped my dad alot to, he would come pick me up and take me there giving him time to recover from the accident. It was around Christmas when the doc finally gave the ok to start with a prosthetic leg. I went to the place that I now work” Palmetto Prosthesis and Orthotics. www.palmettoprosthetics.com . The owner, John Moyd was the one I met with and his 1st words was don’t worry your gonna do great. After getting my leg and doing a few more months of therapy I got back to “normal” and noticed that I not only was walking again and doing everything I once did but I had a new found drive to do more, during this time I went in for an adjustment to my prosthetic leg and John asked if I had ever considered working in the prosthetic field. I started out as a trial for a week just to see if I liked it.. That was 7 years ago and I never left. Since then I have been certified through the amputee coalition of America as an amputee consultant. I now build prosthetic limbs and go talk to new amputees about what they are looking forward to and actually get to help them through this process. I have met alot of amazing people and have seen folks do some amazing things. I also started racing atv’s and then racing go carts and pretty much anything that was fast and tested my abilities as an amputee. It took 5 years but I finally got back on a bike again, since then I have rode to the mountains twice, to Florida once and went on countless more rides. I just recently sold my bike, but not because I couldn’t ride but because I have a 5 year old little girl and I don’t want to chance missing out on any of her life…. Looking back you may think I’m crazy but June 17th was the start of a new and better life and I wouldn’t change a thing……… Chad Welch