Paramedic hurt in ambulance crash takes first steps with new pro - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Paramedic hurt in ambulance crash takes first steps with new prosthetic leg

FLORENCE COUNTY, SC ( WMBF) - Tessie Smith, the paramedic hurt in an ambulance crash in March, has hurdled a major milestone in her recovery. For the first time, she was able to walk with the help of a new prosthetic leg Thursday.

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Her right leg was amputated above the knee, and since the crash, she has been confined to a wheel chair. Smith said her desire to get moving again pushed her to work through the pain and fear.

"It wasn't so much that it was difficult, it was more just fear," Smith said. "I have to learn to trust that it's going to hold me up because it's not my real leg. Most every body just puts their foot in front of the other, and they know it's going to hold them. I've got to gain that confidence in that. That's just going to take a little while."

She surprised not only herself, but her family and friends by walking out of the Palmetto Prosthetic office and to her own vehicle.

"It's very scary to walk on a prosthesis," John Moyd with Palmetto Prosthetic said. "She are putting weight through a socket that was not intended to put weight through. So for her to gain the confidence and be able to do that, mentally it's an extreme challenge for any amputee to go through. But she certainly accomplished that."

Tessie did not get to go home with her new leg Thursday. The one she used was only for testing. She will have her own soon.

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