Tonawanda News

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April 26, 2013

Kenmore amputee runner sympathizes with Boston victims

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — His road to recovery isn’t over though — Degnan still goes to Athleticare biweekly for various injuries and therapy. But, despite all the challenges, he said that he has faith that the Boston marathon victims, with a positive attitude, will overcome the many hurdles presented to them. 

“My heart does bleed for them. I know they have a lot of work ahead of them, but they can do it,” he said. “If I could talk to them, I’d tell them to keep in perspective what they still have. Because that is the greatest gift.” 

Baumgarden, Degnan’s therapist, has worked with over 50 amputees and stressed that every one of those patients’ journeys is different. 

“The biggest physical challenge is to trust that the leg is going to respond, that the balance is going to be recovered,” he said. “That first year has a lot of challenges, and a lot of people get discouraged.” 

But Baumgarden also said that it’s very feasible that with a prosthetic, amputee patients can be walking within two to three months. 

And although that process is extremely difficult, Baumgarden and Degnan said a patient’s support system can make a big difference. 

“I’d tell the families of the victims in Boston to encourage them. If they are down, try to lift them up in any way possible,” Baumgarden said. 

After his surgery, Degnan founded an amputee support group for locals called Moving Forward. The group meets monthly to discuss various challenges and experiences.

“We are just there to tell people we are there for them,” Degnan said. “And even if we don’t talk, we listen.” 

Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000, ext. 4150

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