Amputee Stories

Alonzo's Story

Dec 5, 2023

"RIM showed me I could still have a life.”- Alonzo White

Ten years ago, Alonzo White was pulled over on the roadside to fix his flat tire. The last thing he remembers is leaning into his trunk to get his tools.

Alonzo was hit from behind and pinned between his car and the other one. Both of his legs were so badly damaged, they had to be amputated. When he was stable enough, he was transferred to DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan (RIM) where therapists worked on teaching him to transfer to a wheelchair and eventually walk again with prosthetic legs and assistive devices.

“I was in shock for a long time. Where RIM helped me tremendously was showing me that I could still have a life. Things might be different and maybe a little more difficult, but I could still be active and live.”

Alonzo has become involved in RIM in ways he never expected. For several years, he participated in adaptive sports as a weightlifter, even competing in the Thunder in the Valley Games. He’s also served as a peer for newly injured patients.

While he’s had some setbacks, he continues his therapy at RIM, works out at RIM’s Brasza Fitness Center on his own and stays involved in other ways.

“I went to the RIM Foundation Gala one year and saw the wheelchair ballroom dancing and said, ‘Dang, I want to do that!’ and now I’m hooked. Once a month, I attend the class and even participate in some showcases. I feel so free and not limited by my wheelchair. That’s a credit to all that RIM has done for me.”

Alonzo has graduated to a more computerized pair of prosthetics and is working with RIM therapists to build his endurance and walk better. He says there’s no way he would be as settled in life if it weren’t for the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan.