Jeff's Story

– Jeff Terry

“You’d never know I have a prosthetic leg. My therapists at RIM told me not to let anything hold me back, and I don’t.”

Jeff lost part of his leg in a catastrophic car accident. After working with RIM Rehab staff to strengthen both legs and make his prosthetic as comfortable as possible, Jeff runs just like he did before the amputation.

“It’s crazy what I can do with one leg,” says Jeffrey Terry, “like balance on a ball and walk on a beam. I credit every step to the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan.”

While driving, Jeff’s car was sideswiped. The car flipped and he was tossed in the back. He saw that he was missing several toes and his foot was barely attached.

“Oh man… that’s all I could think,” says Jeff. “Then I looked out the window, and it got worse: The car was on fire.”

Jeff launched himself out the back window. A passerby dragged him from the burning car and Jeff quickly made a tourniquet out of his shirt.

“A few hours later I was told they were going to amputate from the knee down,” says Jeff. “I begged the surgeon to keep more of my leg. All I could think about were those people in wheelchairs without legs.” 

The surgeon said it was risky but agreed. After recovering from surgery, Jeff went to the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan. Therapists fit him with a prosthetic leg, which was painful and hard to use at the beginning.

“They were really intent on making it right,” he says. “They were always asking me how I felt and they tried everything to make it comfortable.  They really had all the tricks to get me walking, and walking without a limp.”

Jeff has more of his leg than many amputees, and he credits RIM with speeding his recovery because they helped him focus on strengthening both legs, not just the one that wasn’t amputated. Today Jeff is jogging and working again.

“You’d never know I have a prosthetic leg,” says Jeff. “I’m ready to take on any workout and there’s no doubt I’ll do it well.

“My therapists at RIM told me not to let anything hold me back, and I don’t.”