NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Eleven months. That’s how long Jason Waddell had to walk on crutches. His underarms were bruised by them.
“Miserable. Very complicated to get around,” said Waddell.
He lost his lower leg last October after it got caught in the wheel well of an ATV when he was riding on the back of it. Waddell says he was going through a divorce and had legal trouble, too. He was homeless.
“Kinda hopeless,” he recalled.
Waddell was also having trouble getting Missouri Medicaid coverage. That’s government insurance that would cover the cost of a prosthetic leg. He met Kar Woo, founder of “Artists Helping the Homeless“, who gave him support and shelter. Woo called FOX 4 Medical Reporter Meryl Lin McKean to see if she could help Waddell get an artificial leg.
“And I’m so thankful you responded,” said Woo.
FOX 4 put Woo and Waddell in contact with Hanger Clinic, the biggest prosthetic company in the world.
“Any time you have a healthy person go that long after an amputation without getting a prosthesis, it kinda breaks your heart a little bit,” said John Camey of Hanger.
The clinic quickly saw that Waddell got a prescription for the prosthesis, and then Hanger provided it. Waddell’s Medicaid application is still pending.
“We will probably be reimbursed, but that’s the least of our concerns,” said Camey.
Waddell is getting back on his feet.
“It’s given me a lot of hope. Instilled a lot of hope in me,” he said.
He says he has hope of getting a job and having a normal life.