Sergeant Robert Easley, Jr.
Sergeant Robert Easley, Jr. was severely injured in action on October 15, 2012 while conducting operations in southern Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). While on foot patrol, Sergeant Easley stepped on an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and lost both of his legs making him a bilateral above knee amputee. He also sustained multiple injuries to his right hand including partial amputation of his pointer, middle, and index fingers, a sliced tendon on his pinky, and large wounds on the palm and top of his hand.
Sergeant Easley was on the second deployment. He first deployed for 14 months (2008 – 2009) with the 10th Mountain Division out of Fort Drum, NY as an infantryman (1-87). He served in Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Shortly after his 1st tour, he attended a yearlong school to become an Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) Tech.
He deployed in January of 2012 with the 787th EOD out of Fort Lewis, WA.
Sergeant Easley is currently at Walter Reed Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD where he is receiving treatment.
Miracle Limbs-Courage in Motion is providing financial assistance to Sergeant Easley’s family so that they can be with Robert while he is recuperating at Walter Reed, and is prepared to assist when he is released to return home.
Per Itzel’s Mom “My daughter, Itzel, was born with a tumor (Myofibromatosis). She had three surgeries on her right fore- arm. Itzel endured chemotherapy. I had to quit my job to take care of my daughter, as well as take her to all of her Doctor’s appointments.
On October of 2010, Doctor Reed at All Children’s Specialty Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida told my husband and me that we had to make an important decision and gave us two weeks to think about whether to amputate Itzel's arm or to undergo another round of chemotherapy that had no chance of working and had not been proven to work and had bad side effects on the heart. It was a very difficult decision to amputate her arm, but my daughter had a better chance of living.
My daughter will benefit a lot with the help of Miracle Limbs-Courage in Motion. My husband works in the construction industry and it has been very difficult for us this past year economically. It has also been very stressful for our entire family. My other children have suffered also with this situation as we have had to cut back on many things.
Now, Itzel is progressing, and although she has a lot of work ahead of her learning to use her prosthetic arm, I am thankful that Miracle Limbs-Courage in Motion is available to assist with her prosthetic arm and is providing support and encouragement in many ways both financial and emotional. We are happy that Miracle limbs-Courage in Motion exists and are grateful for all the assistance we have received. Words cannot describe our feelings for all the help we have received from them. It means a lot to my daughter and our family. Thank you Bob.
In May 2009, 68-year-old Denny Huston discovered a small wound on his right foot. Thinking it was just a splinter Denny went on a scheduled vacation to Texas. Within two weeks the wound began to bother Denny and he experienced pain in his foot, at which time he and his wife Debby went to the emergency room where it was confirmed that he had an infection and was prescribed antibiotics and pain medication. Upon his return to Naples, Florida, Denny went to a podiatrist. Following many treatments, Denny’s foot continued to get worse.
Denny’s journey was compounded with the fact that he had one major and two minor heart attacks and was given a twenty-five percent chance of surviving. Denny did survive and was on his way to recovery; however, he had developed skin sores and heal ulcers and he was taken back to NCH downtown Naples where he went through extensive tests to find out that Denny had vascular neuropathy, a condition that affects the nerves controlling the blood vessels. In Denny’s case, the only remedy was to amputate his leg above the knee. Denny now faced the most difficult decision he would have to make. His life was going to change and challenge his soul to the core.
As fate would have it, Bob Ayres, an amputee and founder of Miracle Limbs-Courage in Motion was on his way into NCH to visit with an amputee when Debby Huston saw Bob and asked him if he would visit with Denny in his hospital room.
In Denny’s words:
“Bob came into my hospital room and answered all my questions and assured me that all would be good. Upon returning home from the hospital, feeling a loss of identity and feeling sorry for myself, I received a call from Bob and then he came over to my home and we spent time talking. It must have been fate that my wife ran into Bob at the time I needed someone that could understand what I was going through. I am on my way to a good life with the help of my loving wife, Debbie, who has been here for me and believes in me.
I do feel that God has spared me, maybe to help someone with the same attitude. I know that through this journey I will be an inspiration to others and show them that with a friend like Bob, and Miracle Limbs I can accomplish anything”
What Bob kept telling me is true. “It is true that impossible in an option, not a fact.”
In July 2010, recent high school graduate Tim Delano's life plans changed drastically when he and some of his friends decided to go for a swim in an Estates canal in Naples Florida. He was attacked by a 10-foot alligator. He survived by punching and pulling himself away from the gator, but he lost his left hand in the process.
As time passed, Tim was unable to find a job, began withdrawing from society, and falling into a depressed state of mind. Tim's mother, Debbie, contacted Miracle Limbs-Courage in Motion desperate to find help for Tim.
Bob visited Tim several times, while he was living with his parents. Arrangements were made with a local prosthetic company to have Tim fitted with a prosthetic arm. After finding out that Tim wanted to become a marine mechanic, Miracle Limbs-Courage in Motion worked with Lorenzo Walker Technical School, towards a scholarship for Tim. Tim will be starting school soon and will have marine mechanic certification within 18 months. The prosthetist that Miracle Limbs set up for him is now designing a hand that can virtually take “snap-on” tools so that he can pursue his dream.
Message from Tim's mother:
I just want to drop you a line to tell you how thankful my husband and I are that you have taken an interest in helping our son. There's nothing that we can say to let you know how much we appreciate everything you are trying to do for him.
He is, as you can see, very down and in a bad state of mind not knowing which way to go at this time in his life. He should have endless possibilities to look forward to, and he no longer feels he has a handicap with one hand. I thank God every day that he is strong as he is now. It's the only way he is still here with us.
Let me know any way we can help you help our son! You are my son's angel!!”
Sincerely Debbie Delano
In January of 2001, Louisa was the victim of a horrific automobile accident, which resulted in the amputation of her left leg above the knee as well as 3 toes on her right foot. By no fault of her own Louisa was unable to work or drive. With no funds to see a prosthetist or physical therapist, she was confined to a wheelchair and dependent on others to assist her with various household chores as well as providing her with rides.
In 2009 Miracle Limbs-Courage in Motion was contacted by a friend from her church asking for assistance. Following the call, Miracle Limbs-Courage in Motion proceeded with peer visitations at her home, followed by making arrangements for fittings for a prosthetic leg as well as physical therapy. Today, Louisa is well on her way to returning to work as well as being more independent with her everyday activities.
Jamarion is a cheerful and gregarious little 6-year old who lost both arms at the age of 8 months. His insurance would only pay for hooks on each arm and Jamarion chose not to wear them, learning to write with his feet instead. Miracle Limbs raised funds for him to have one myoelectric arm and one passive arm. See the video of him learning to use the fingers on his new prosthetic arm.
Corey Kent was born on 7/28/88 and raised in Cape Coral, Florida. A gifted student, he graduated from Mariner High School in 2006 with honors. Corey completed one year of college at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.
After joining the army and completing basic training, Corey was deployed to Afghanistan. After only three weeks in Afghanistan, on July 12, 2010, at the age of 21, he was critically injured while on foot patrol. He lost both his legs and all the fingers on his left hand, due to an improvised explosive device (IED) explosion. After being transferred to two mash units in Afghanistan, Corey was transferred to Germany and then to Washington D.C. To the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Corey was awarded the Purple Heart and a combat action badge. He was still on a ventilator when he turned 22 years of age. He was moved from the surgery ICU unit on Friday, August 13th toward 57 which is the amputee ward.
Corey faces several more surgeries as well as some extensive skin grafting. He is truly a hero to all of us.
Corey's mother, Tiffany, and his stepfather Dan Ashby have been by Corey's side 24/7 since arriving at WRAMC. His younger sister, Cassie, had traveled to Germany and then to Washington D.C. With her mother and Dan and has since returned to Cape Coral.
On November 15, 2012, Miracle Limbs-Courage in Motion was contacted by Naples Community Hospital regarding Juan Ybarra, a 57-year-old widower who had his leg amputated below the knee as he had been diagnosed with Peripheral Vascular Disease (poor blood circulation).
Upon visiting Juan, Miracle Limbs-Courage in Motion realized that Juan was a bit confused, scared, and very uncertain about his future as he had no one to go home to or no home to go to as he was homeless. Miracle Limbs-Courage in Motion visited Juan regularly assuring him that we would provide him with his artificial limb, as well as physical therapy, and find him a place to live. Beginning with purchasing clothing, shoes, and toiletries for Juan a trusting relationship began to grow and Juan was more accepting of the fact that he was not alone.
After several months of searching for housing for Juan, Miracle Limbs-Courage in Motion made an agreement with the Immokalee Friendship House to take Juan in as a resident as long as Miracle Limbs-Courage in Motion made sure his rent was taken care of until we were able to find a job for Juan.
On February 14, 2013, Juan was released from the hospital and Miracle Limbs-Courage in Motion took him to the Immokalee Friendship House, where a nurse will be checking and changing bandages and disbursing his medications on a regular basis. We will be keeping in touch with him and his progress, and as soon as the wound is completely healed we will be providing him with a prosthetic limb, and physical therapy to learn to walk.
Our next challenge for Juan is assisting him in finding a job so he can live a productive life.
Juan is a remarkable human being and he has a powerful weapon, a brave heart.
Marco. On October 24, 1994, the car Marco was driving stalled. He had his wife steer the car while he pushed the vehicle onto the shoulder of the road. In the blink of an eye, Marco was hit by an oncoming car.
Marco's right leg was mostly totally severed above the knee. Marco's left leg had broken bones, and he suffered damage to his lower spine and neck, along with facial damage which required plastic surgery. His liver was damaged. Marco was rushed to the hospital where his right leg was amputated above the knee, as well as surgeries to repair other damage.
Marco was not able to continue working at his screen printing shop, as he was confined to a wheelchair. He did not have the financial means to pay for an artificial limb along with the necessary rehabilitation. In 2009 Marco's doctor contacted Miracle Limbs-Courage in Motion, who immediately met with Marco at his home. Miracle Limbs followed up by making arrangements with a prosthetist to fit a prosthetic leg and obtain physical therapy.
Today Marco is back working at his printing shop and is able to provide for his family. He returned to bicycling and is getting back in shape physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Thomas, a double below the knee amputee, is diabetic and had one leg amputated several years ago. Recently he had the other leg amputated. He is in good spirits but is unsure as to his medical coverage.
It is our goal to assist Thomas as he controls his diabetes and provides financial aid for two prosthetics if not covered.
Cheryl, a double below-the-knee amputee as of July 2009, had amputation surgery, including the loss of two fingers, at NCH. Cheryl is still healing and has had complications with pneumonia.
Cheryl will need financial assistance in some areas and Miracle Limbs-Courage in Motion will stay with her and her husband until she can raise her arms in in victory. They have both had a very difficult adjustment period and keep in constant communication with us.
In July 2012, fifty-nine-year-old Delia Vasquez had her arm amputated below the elbow after a blood clot occluded her blood supply. In addition to this new disability, Delia has end-stage kidney disease which requires daily dialysis. Delia has a long history of diabetes for which she uses injectable medications.
Delia lives in a very small house in Immokalee, Florida with her husband and son who are both dealing with disabilities. Consequently, the family does not have the physical or financial ability to assist her with activities of daily living with the new loss of her right hand, as Delia has been the primary caregiver to her husband and son.
Miracle Limbs-Courage in Motion was contacted by Delia's sister, Lillian, asking for assistance. We visited Delia at the hospital and assured her that Miracle Limbs would assist her with a prosthetic limb, and have also given her an electric wheelchair which would make it easier for her to go to her dialysis sessions. Her fittings are in progress. She has a great and positive attitude and we are blessed to be working with her.
On October 8, 2009, 43-year-old Stephen Clark an Ft. Myers resident, was riding his motorcycle when a car ran a stop sign and hit Stephen broadside.
Stephen was taken by ambulance to Lee Memorial Hospital emergency room. Stephen's right leg was badly damaged and had to be operated at which time a metal rod which ran from his knee to his ankle was screwed into his bone. Stephen was released from the hospital one month later and convalesced at his stepfather's home.
Three months later his wound site contracted an infection which triggered further damage. The decision was made to amputate Stephens's right leg below the knee and was released from the hospital after three weeks without physical therapy or prosthetic information. Stephen moved into his small apartment and managed to get around with crutches.
One year later in desperation, Stephen placed an ad in Craigs List inquiring if anyone knew where he could get a used artificial limb that they would like to donate to him. As fate would have it someone saw the ad and contacted Miracle Limbs-Courage in Motion.
Miracle Limbs-Courage in Motion made financial arrangements with a local prosthetist to have Stephen fitted with a new prosthetic leg, as well as physical therapy to strengthen his muscles and learn to walk again.