Empowered Stories

Josafat Gonzalez

​​Condition: Bilateral Above-Knee Amputee

Solution:  ComfortFlex™ Socket System and C-Leg® Microprocessor Knees

Josa works with his prosthetist to get the best fit for his prostheses.Josa’s Story

23 year-old, Josa Gonzalez was enjoying a summer college trip with his friends and traveling by train through Europe. One early morning, the train made a brief stop in Spezia, Italy. Josa was getting refreshments when he suddenly realized the train was leaving without him. Josa made a mad dash to jump on the train. The next thing he remembers was coming to and seeing his left leg broken and his right leg missing. Later, when he awoke after surgery he learned that he had lost both of his legs above-knee.       

Only Josa Could Change His Life

A couple of days after that I had this realization,” says Josa. “I was the one who made the decision to run after the train in Italy, only I could make the decision to change my life. I was so brave in Italy, now I need to be brave again –I can change my future.” From that moment, Josa never doubted he would walk again.
The prosthetist in Mexico told him that he would be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life and consequently would be dependent on other people for many of his daily activities.

Josa was initially fit with conventional prosthetics in Mexico. They were painful and unstable. He still had to utilize a walker and was not able to go down stairs or ramps.

The Right Combination Helped Him Succeed

Eventually, he connected with Chad Simpson, a prosthetist with Hanger Clinic in Oklahoma City. Chad worked closely with Josa to fit him with the right combination of socket design, prostheses and therapy.

Today Josa is not only able to walk without a walker but down stairs and ramps. He can do almost anything including driving a car without hand controls – something that he thought he would never be possible again.

In the spring of 2007 Josa competed in the swimming and track events at the 8th Annual UCO Endeavor Games.

“It felt awesome to be running again,” claims an enthusiastic Josa. “Not only running but competing with some of the best in my category.”

“Everybody is able to accomplish their goals. You must think of what you want, the things you want to do and where you want to be and start working on it. If you never try, you will never win.”​

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