When David Adams heard he was getting “new legs,” the possibility that he might walk again consumed him.
“I couldn’t wait. As soon as I got my hands on the prosthetics I tried to put them on myself and start walking. My physical therapists are trying to teach me patience, but it’s hard to take things slow when you want to reclaim your life,” Adams said.
Eight months ago, everything changed for the 51-year-old, when his legs were amputated as a result of severe frostbite.
“I was sleeping in a park because I had to move out of where I was staying. One morning I couldn’t feel or move my legs, and a Grady ambulance brought me to the hospital. They told me the news and all I said was ‘Do whatever you have to do to save my life.’”
After two surgeries Adams went to Crestview Health and Rehabilitation Center for recovery. There, he struggled, as he could not come to terms with using a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
“Mr. Adams was miserable and sad. All he wanted was to walk again,” said Anita Rollins, manager of physical therapy at Crestview.
While his chances of getting prosthetic legs were unlikely without having any health insurance, Medicaid Eligibility Specialist Erica Bethely at Crestview got to work. Because of her efforts, his application was approved and his coverage came through.
Four months after his life-changing surgeries, Adams’ “new legs” arrived and the change in him was palpable.
“Mr. Adams transformed before everyone’s eyes — he was smiling like a man who became whole again,” Rollins said.
Adams started pushing himself by going to the rehab center’s gym and taking regular walks outside, strengthening his body with each step. The next milestone is walking independently without support from his walker.
“Nothing is going to stop me now. I am not feeling sorry for myself. I am determined to walk out of here.”