By Chris Casteel For MediaNews Group | The Oakland Press | Aug 5, 2019
A tragic story made the rounds of major news programs this summer: Seventeen-year–old North Carolina teen Paige Winter lost two fingers and a leg in a shark attack. Her will to live kicked in as her father, a fireman and former Marine, dove into the water, stunned the shark and saved Paige’s life.
Since then, this remarkable young person has responded not with bitterness or self-pity, but a resolve to get on with her life in the best ways possible. Paige has the strength of youth and a great family on her side, but her loss of a limb is not an isolated incident.
The Amputee Coalition of America reports that approximately 185,000 amputations occur in the United States each year, and nearly 2 million people are living with limb loss in the United States. The main causes are vascular disease such as diabetes and peripheral artery disease, and trauma, like Paige experienced. Other causes include cancer and warfare, with many Wounded Warriors returning from combat with limb damage. Other individuals have partial or complete absence of a limb at birth.
Featured image credit: North Carolina teen Paige Winter and her father, Charlie Winter, give interviews to ABC newswoman Robin Roberts in a video broadcast in June on “Nightline.” (Courtesy ABC/abcnews.go.com/Nightline)