Amputees turn their struggle into inspiration

Quadruple amputee Julie Dombo tries on a set of prosthetic hands before entering the 2016 Wichita River Run on Saturday, June 4, 2016. (Photo: KSN/Shardaa Gray)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Saturday’s event was one of the first amputee social events that Wichita has seen and organizers say, it was all about creating a comfortable and informative environment.

“I choose to live my life to the fullest because I still have so much to live for,” said Julie Dombo, a survivor of several gun shots wounds during a Derby robbery last year.

Julie has undergone quadruple amputation and says she showed up to Saturday’s event to inspire others to reconnect with the outside world after surgery.

“We are a needy bunch but we deserve the help,” explained Julie. “Many amputees have to fully count on their caregivers and they are sometimes hurting; financially, emotionally and physically.”

Saturday’s cookout was held at the Wesley Rehab Center and organizers say it was all about offering support to those living as an amputee.

“I found when I was first under the surgery I did not really know anything,” explained organizer, Monty Rush. “I didn’t know which clinic to go to or what to expect. I didn’t know what type of prosthetic’s I could have or which one would work best for me so, this is primarily for individuals that are new to limb loss or just people who have questions about it.”

Monty adds that this event was his chance to not only help others by providing information, but also by sharing his story. Monty’s leg was amputated when a flesh eating bacteria took over after he stepped on a nail.

“At the time my wife and I didn’t know anyone that had gone through this experience so, we decided we didn’t want other survivors to go through this alone,” said Monty.

The event had over 50 people in attendance and Monty says they plan to host these cookouts every 3 months.