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Steven Walker is 'Beating the Odds'

10:50 PM, Nov 15, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A First Coast man went to bed one day and woke up months later with no hands or feet.

Steven Walker was 28 years old when a rare bacteria shut down his body. Doctors later identified it as capnocytophaga. 

To save his life, his doctors removed his hands and feet. 

Two days after his 29th birthday, Steven woke up to a very new reality.

In July, a very weak Steven finally went home.

He told First Coast News then about the hardest moment.

"It was just the first time where I was just thinking I'm going to be ... somebody is going to have to take care of me for the rest of my life, and what am I going to do," Steven said. "It's just really scary."

Four months later, Steven walked out of his apartment to greet the First Coast News crew.

His very first prosthetics fitting was life-changing.

"I put them on and I started walking around like it was nothing," Steven said.

"Just to see him get up and walk was amazing in itself," Steven's brother Mike explained. "Then I think the best part was just our conversation afterwards and him saying, 'I'm going to be able to walk again.'"

With his new legs, Steven is able to mostly care for himself.

He credits his quick recovery to a work out routine and has quickly learned how to do simple tasks.

He lives with one of his brothers, and his brother Mike and mom Barbara are always nearby.

"They all help a lot," Steven said. "They all have their different ways of helping. They're trying to help me feel more independent. They also are there on my hard days and stuff like that."

And there are still hard days. 

"Sometimes you get this false hope when you wake up that I'm not going to have a life. I'm going to be here forever," Steven said. "But you can't let that bring you down."

Steven isn't letting anything bring him down. He's keeping busy. Not only can he walk but he makes kicking a rugby ball around with this brother look easy, jumping around on two very new legs.

"I mean this kid is knocking down barriers that have been put in front of him on a daily basis," Mark said.

"I'm a pretty happy person," Steven said. "If I'm around family and friends, that's all you can really ask for."

Steven said legs, and soon, arms, are just a bonus.

Steven plans to be fitted for prosthetic arms in the near future, and will also undergo additional facial and dental surgeries.

He is also giving back by tutoring and he wants to volunteer with other amputees.

First Coast News

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