Triple Amputee UK Solider In OKC For New Prosthetics
OKLAHOMA CITY - American and European soldiers were deployed to Afghanistan in 2001. UK Marine Captain Jon White deployed a year later. And it was in Afghanistan that Jon's life would change forever.
"Obviously you never know where it was going, but when I look back and I think the direction change has been good for me," said White.
Since a young age, days, months, and years had already made an impression on White.
Sept. 4, 2002:
"I was in the world marines, so the ‘noble infantry', back in the UK. I joined up when I was 19," said White.
Eight years later Jon was on his second tour in Afghanistan, when his life changed direction just minutes after sunrise on June 16, 2010.
"And moments later I must have stepped on a device and got blown up into the air."
Jon had stepped on an IED.
"I could hear what injuries I had on the radio as the guys were talking," said White.
Three days later he woke in his hospital room.
"I woke up determined. Whatever my situation was I would make the best of it."
Jon's situation: He is a triple amputee. His legs were amputated from just above the knee joint and his right arm through the elbow joint.
"I remember being really shocked. I didn't know what I expected but I didn't expect that."
But he didn't stay in shock for long.
"I was just focusing what I could do and I was climbing in and out of bed and in and out of a wheelchair."
And that wheelchair has been gone since June 19, 2011.
"A year and three days after I was blown up and I haven't touched one since."
Instead, Jon is taking each day in stride, one X3 Bionic System after another.
"I've kind of blocked out what life was like before because it doesn't do me any good to sit and think things were easier."
Jon is in Oklahoma City now. He's been coming back and forth from the UK since Oct. 2011.
"It's a great opportunity for me to get the latest technology from the guys with experience. They're absolutely incredible."
"The main goal, anyone who walks through the door is to get them to as independent status in life as we can," said Chad Simpson.
Developed at the Hanger Clinic, Simpson fitted Jon with his new limbs, which are completely water proof.
"He can go to the shores edge, jump in his kayak and not have the fear of damaging expensive electric equipment," said Simpson.
It is just one step of the many steps Jon has taken to have a normal life.
"[I've] got my own business. I've been married since, had a kid, built my own house," said White.
When asked if he had any regrets, Jon simply said…
"No. If I could grow my arms and legs back tomorrow I would join again. I wouldn't change a thing."
And there are two more dates Jon will never forget: Dec. 17, 2011 (his wedding day) and Nov. 10, 2012 (the birth of his son).