VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- It was a nice day at Sandbridge Beach. Sunny, breezy, with a nice surf along the ocean in Virginia Beach.
"I was surfing by myself, my wife was standing on the beach,” Ryan Johnson explained to WTKR. "I was out Saturday morning and the surf was probably about chest high, shoulder high range and it was clean."
But as waves crashed down on Johnson his prosthetic leg started to come loose.
"Oh my god, I can’t believe this is happening," he remembered thinking.
Then it detached completely, and the current swept it away.
“This wave kind of just rushed up and it rushed really hard and then rushed back out and ... took my prosthetic with it,” he explained.
A part of him was gone for a second time. Back in 2017, Johnson lost his left foot during a motorcycle crash.
“It’s losing a bit of your soul, I guess. Losing a part of you that you use for a daily basis, daily activities, you take your whole body for granted,” he told WTKR.
Currently using a backup prosthetic, he said the feeling isn’t the same. Until he finds the prosthetic or gets a new one, Johnson said catching waves at the beach will only be a pleasant memory.
“Say I land on a board, or go work out or land on something wrong or kick the ball and hit something hard. If you run on this one, it will break,” Johnson said.
With the help of family, he tried finding the leg to no avail. He hopes the prosthetic washes ashore and someone spots it.
The design is unique -- the joker is on the front, the back is a drawing of Marvin the Martian.
“I just rather have it back so I can move on with my life."