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Prosthetics mean new life for amputee

Seth Alexander doesn't mind talking about how he lost his legs.

He figures that if somebody else facing the same harsh reality might be helped by his story, then why not?

Truth be told, however, Alexander is far more focused on what lies ahead in his life than he is on the past. In addition to working full time, he's going to school with a goal of becoming a doctor specializing in physical therapy. He's also engaged to be married, and recently he's been stepping up training to run a half marathon on April 30 during the annual Run to Remember in Oklahoma City.

To say that Alexander, who is 21, got knocked off what he thought was supposed to be the natural course of his life when he was 16 would be a vast understatement. Up until Nov. 2, 2011, he said, his life had pretty much been like any other teen's. If he stood out from the crowd at all, it was because he was a good athlete. A pitcher and third baseman at his high school in Walker, Mo., he was drawing looks from college baseball scouts, and he was a key contributor, too, to the school's basketball team.

Alexander was on his way to Alexander was on his way to basketball practice that day when his life's trajectory was so drastically altered at 5:43 p.m. It was cold and rainy, he remembers, and on one of the last turns leading to school he lost control of the pickup he was driving. He was partially ejected as the vehicle rolled over.

"The truck landed on top of my knees," he said.

He didn't lose consciousness until emergency responders gave him morphine. When he finally woke up, four days had passed. He was in St. Louis, but in reality he was in a different world.

In the weeks that followed, Alexander endured 12 surgeries as doctors vainly attempted what they referred to as "limb salvaging." Finally, as they worried that other surgeries would be futile and that risks were rising for complications like kidney failure, the doctors told Alexander that it was time to start thinking about double amputation. They gave him a couple of days.

The Lawton Constitution

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