Quadruple Amputee Walking Again After Visit To OKC Hospital
OKLAHOMA CITY - Pedro's Pimenta's story is a testament to technology and the human spirit. He was a healthy 18-year-old man until a freak illness left him a quadruple amputee.
Doctors told him he'd never walk again. But this Brazilian did not give up and he found new hope right here in Oklahoma City. He visited three different clinics who all told him he needed to stay in a wheelchair. But he didn't see it that way.
Both of 22-year-old Pimenta's arms have been amputated above the elbow; both legs above the knee. It was all the result of a case of bacterial meningitis.
"There were areas of my arms and legs I could see the bone, the bacteria really eating everything," he recalls.
He would come to America looking for freedom from what seemed like a life sentence.
"I didn't want to be in a wheelchair. That was my goal."
A chance meeting brought him to the Hanger clinic in Oklahoma City.
"They were the first ones to say ‘Pedro you shouldn't be in a wheelchair.' and I loved that."
Pimenta was fitted with arm prosthesis that allows him nearly full motion; and legs with a computerized knee that monitors pressure and calculates resistance.
"It does make it more comfortable for him to walk. It makes it easier for him to walk and most importantly it provides stability," said Hanger Clinic's Chief Clinician Chad Simpson.
Still, learning to use the prosthetics would be a difficult process. But now Pedro is completely independent.
"This is my life. I don't feel like these are my prosthesis anymore. They're part of my body," he says.
He admits he is an inspiration
"I like living my life to the fullest and I think that inspires people too."
Proof there's nothing life can throw at you, that can't be taken in stride.
"Feels great, feels like mission accomplished for me."
Pedro lives and goes to school in St. Petersburg, Florida. He has a girlfriend who me met through her father, who became a triple amputee after a bout with H1N1.