Bi-lateral Amputee Walks, Runs and Drives

Tuesday, December 2nd 2008, 7:00 pm
By: News 9

By Melissa Maynarich, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A young man from Spain has traveled half way around the world to find the best prosthetic legs.

That's why he traveled to Oklahoma. Hanger Prosthetics in Oklahoma City is helping the bi-lateral amputee walk, run, even drive again.

Julian Navarete Martinez has always been an active young man. And he wants to continue to live his life as he once did before he was in a motorcycle wreck.

"I left work and within a minute and a half I was hit from behind," Martinez said. "I was thrown to the ground. Both of my legs were broken, all my tendons."

Martinez was hit by a drunk driver. His legs -- amputated at the knee. So he started searching the Internet for answers.

He found a young man in Mexico, also an amputee. They met up on a Spanish talk show, and Martinez was convinced.

He would travel to Oklahoma City and be fit with prosthetic legs at Hanger. The same place his new friend got his legs.

"It's more than just the prosthetic legs he getting here as well," Chad Simpson with Hanger Prosthetics said. "Because one of the things we try to concentrate on is giving him real life experience as well."

Martinez is able to walk with his new prosthetics. He's even able to drive. And with a special second set - he can now run. He's able to do all this with two fractured femurs, or thigh bones.

"Our goal here was to create a prosthesis for him that's going to help solidify that bone, encourage weight bearing on the ends of his limbs, to the agitation and stimulation of those bones to make them solidify," Simpson said.

After a couple more weeks in the U.S., Martinez will head back to Spain. He plans on living the rest of his life to its fullest.

"It's a very good invention," Martinez said. "The medicine has worked very well for me. The prosthetics make my life very normal."

Before going back to Spain, Martinez will travel to Colorado on a ski trip.