OLATHE, Kan. -- A Kansas man with polio who's been living in constant pain received an amazing gift on Monday. His pain stemmed from a leg brace that was so old, it was held together with zip ties, tape and automotive parts.
Once FOX 4 shared Reynaldo Diebolt’s story, there was an outpouring of support. Diebolt was ready to say goodbye to pain at the Hanger Clinic in Olathe. He was at the clinic to try on a leg brace made especially for him, and to say goodbye to the one he's been using for more than 15 years.
FOX 4 Problem Solvers first learned about him in March after his boss, Marisa Gomez at a Golden Corral gave us a call.
“He's been struggling, every day he's in pain because he doesn't have the right brace,” Gomez told FOX 4.
Diebolt, who was born in Mexico, lost use of his left leg after contracting polio when he was six years old. The debilitating condition damaged his body, but not his spirit. In fact, he never complains, even when he pulls a 12-hour shift at Golden Corral where he's known as an expert grill master who is always willing to pull an extra shift.
Although he now has health insurance for the first time, he still can't afford the cost of a new brace. That's why FOX 4 Problem Solvers asked the Hanger Clinic, which specializes in prosthetics and leg braces, for help.
“Definitely lighter,” Diebolt remarked of the new brace.
It's made of stainless steel and fully padded, not a zip tie to be found. After a few adjustments by Hanger prosthesist Emily Perkins, Diebolt was ready for a spin.
“Even though I have it on, it feels like it's not on,” he said.
It's that comfortable, but he said the biggest difference is now he has a brace he can trust, one that won't let him down.
“Not thinking about it falling apart, not having to worry,” he said.
A problem solved thanks to a plea for help from a caring co-worker, and the generosity of a good company. There’s also more good news for Diebolt. Golden Corral executives were impressed with his spirit and worth ethic, and have asked him to join their management team.