3.20 | BEST NEWS EVER. We have an incredibly generous matching donor. When we reach $2,500, they will match for the rest.
DAILY DONATION UPDATE:
3.20 | We did it! You have given EXACTLY what we need—we reached our goal of $2,500 & our matching donor has the rest. Cannot thank you all enough for your generosity and love.
3.15 | As of 4:30 PM, we have raised $700 towards Sam's leg!
Sam used to live in a tent. Under an overpass just south of Deep Ellum. One day, when we went to check on him, he wasn't there. One of his neighbors told us he had been taken to the hospital. We rushed over.
We found Sam at Baylor, holding his leg up close to his heart. His left leg had been taken below the knee. He was in a lot of pain that day. We called a friend of ours named Ashley Igo because she has a special expertise: She is a counselor, trained to work with amputees. And more than that, Ashley has a special empathy: she herself is an amputee.
We want to share their story and how you can help. We are raising $5,000 to help Sam get a new leg so that he can walk again. Because of Ashley's relationship with a local prosthetist, they are giving Sam an incredible deal on a prosthesis. They know his situation: no insurance, no income, and they are helping. AND we need your help to make this happen!
SAM, HOW DID YOU MEET ASHLEY?
I met her through The Human Impact. One day she walked in my hospital room, and I had no idea she was wearing a prosthesis. She made a lasting impression on me that day because of her charm and beauty and kindness.
ASHLEY, WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO HELP SAM?
It’s always so special to meet other amputees and be able to empathize with what they’re going through and encourage them so they can see that you can live a normal life. It doesn’t define who you are.
ASHLEY, TELL US YOUR STORY?
I was in an Amtrak train accident when I was 8. The car I was riding derailed and I lost my right foot. I was the only survivor out of my sleeper car. My mom, two best friends, and niece died in the accident.
SAM, HOW DID YOU BECOME HOMELESS?
On September 10, 2014, my sister and her old man got into it, and she moved all of her stuff into storage and took me to The Bridge. The Bridge bussed me to Union Gospel Mission, and I was there about a year. I left UGM and a friend of mine gave me a tent, and I lived in the first Tent City near the Bridge.
SAM, WHAT HAPPENED THE DAY YOU WENT TO THE HOSPITAL?
I didn't leave my tent for almost two weeks because my foot was hurting so bad. My neighbor heard me hollering for help and called 9-1-1. The ambulance came and got me. When I got to Baylor, they told me my foot couldn’t be saved. So they took my left foot below the knee. I went back to surgery a second time because they found more infection, and that was more painful than the first time.
ASHLEY, WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO HELP SAM BY CONNECTING HIM WITH YOUR PROSTHETIST?
I wish I had known more people who were amputees when I was going through readjusting into life with a prosthesis. So that’s why it’s so important for me to help other people in similar situations, to encourage them.
Ashley and Sam below taking Step One to getting Sam a prosthesis: a shrinker.
Shrinkers bring down the swelling from amputation surgery so that Sam can be fitted for a prosthesis.
SAM, WHAT HAS THIS CARE MEANT TO YOU?
Ohhh I don’t think nobody could explain that. It’s too special to me personally. That’s extra special. It was meant only for me to meet you guys and get to know you.
Sam went to live in a rehab facility for three weeks after leaving Baylor. Through our Advocacy group, Sam had someone show up to visit him every single day.
I was so glad y’all come to visit because that was the first time I ever been in a nursing home...
SAM, WHERE ARE YOU LIVING NOW?
I’m living with my sister. It’s wonderful living with her. I was glad to get away from the nursing home. She cooks real good for me. We had steak and mashed potatoes last night.
ASHLEY, WHAT'S NEXT FOR YOU?
I just finished my masters in counseling and I’m going to be working with children and adolescents who’ve experienced trauma. I’m also the Director of the Lauren Scruggs Kennedy Foundation, a foundation that provides beautiful cosmetic coverings for girls and women who wear a prosthesis. And of course, I'm helping Sam get his leg!
SAM, WHAT DOES it mean to you knowing many other people are about to step in now to help you walk again?
It means the world to me and lets me know there’s still much hope for this world.
ASHLEY, HAVING COME DOWN THIS ROAD A FEW YEARS BEFORE SAM, WHAT MAKES YOU EXCITED FOR HIS FUTURE?
I look forward to the day when he wakes up and his leg isn’t the first thing he thinks about, where it’s not the first obstacle. I wake up, put on my leg, and don’t think about it. Of course, I never forget what God has brought me through ... but now it doesn't define who I am. I am excited for that for Sam, too.
SAM, WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO ABOUT HAVING A LEG?
Being able to walk around on my own without any help.