Gaining back your independence

HealthBeat

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — After a local man had both of his legs amputated last year, he’s up and walking thanks to the help of his prosthetics and physical therapy.

In January of 2019, Steven Chambers had his right leg amputated, and later at the end of the year his left leg too.

He says the amputations were a result of various health issues, including diabetes.

“Actually the arteries in my feet blocked and then they weren’t getting blood and it was very painful. So the choice became live with pain, which you can hardly stand or amputate,” Chambers said.

After making the difficult decision, he was fitted for prosthetics and began physical therapy soon after.

“Steve’s a very hard worker from day one. I mean, one amputation is very tough and, so obviously two makes it that much more difficult,” Austin Ringling said.

Physical therapist assistant Austin Ringling says the therapy is anything but easy. But Chamber’s motivation to walk outweighed the hardships that therapy threw his way.

“You’re learning to walk. You’re learning to get around. Cause if you don’t walk at all, that’s going to be a tough life… a difficult life,” Chambers said.

“Steve comes in and he always has a smile on his face. Even when things we ask him to do things that probably are pushing his boundaries of being comfortable, he really, he really just, just attacks that head-on,” Ringling said.

He’s done so well that he’s tackling another goal on his list since his amputations. Learning to drive again.

“I took education. I had six hours of driver education from Sanford where I got behind the wheel and, and, used hand controls,” Chambers said.

Chambers is now getting hand controls installed in his car and is looking forward to the independence that comes with it.

“It makes you feel like, now, I can, I can do something that I don’t need somebody to be with me and help me in everything. So it makes me feel good. And, like, like I’m serving myself better. I’m serving my wife better,” Chambers said.

“And that’s, I mean, that’s the ultimate goal for physical therapy is to get people that full independence,” Ringling said.

Chambers advice to others going through a similar journey, don’t give up.

To learn more about Sanford Health’s therapy services, click here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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