My name is James (Jimmy) Cagle. I have been battling infection in both feet since 2009. In 2009 I had my left foot cut off below the toes. Then in 2014 I had three different diabetic ulcers in my right foot. Two ulcers healed slowly, but eventually did heal. The last ulcer was on the heel, and I fought a good fight, but it never did heal.
I sing in a band and one night I just did not feel right, and I left before the show and went to Cobb Wellstar Hospital. My entire foot was infected and growing. I was in bad trouble. The only way they could get rid of the infection and save my life was to have my right leg amputated below the knee quickly before the infection spread to my heart.
I fought many years for this not to happen, but always knew it would come to this. No one wants to lose a leg. I was confused and downright scared. I was at the point when I had my leg amputated, and I didn’t know how I would carry on with my busy life. However, Dr. Sayeed put me at ease, said he knew he could get rid of the infection, and told me that I could carry on with my life. Still not complete sure, I then met Prosthetitst Orthotist Eric Chen after my surgery and he was the most kind and gentle soul I had ever met in the medical field. He laid out the plan for my recovery and said to be strong — he somehow knew I could do this. I never felt more at ease. I was in rehab 2 days after surgery, and after 1 week in rehab, I graduated, whereas most patients take 2 weeks at least to get released. Some need home health care, but Eric gave me such inspiration that I worked hard at home every day. To make a long story short, in 9 short weeks I was healed and in my new prosthetic leg. This was the plan Eric had for me, and it worked to the tee. Now 13 weeks after surgery, I am walking without a walker or a cane.
I am back singing on stage with my band and not missing a beat of how my life was before. In fact my life is much better. Where I had been in much pain for 9 years, I am completely pain-free.
I use my story on social media, and many say I am their inspiration in their lives. What they don’t realize is how Eric was my inspiration! Yes I was determined to get through this with a great attitude and strong will. Eric made sure that this would happen, made sure it could, and most definitely would happen with a strong attitude and hard work. I may be an inspiration to others, but Eric Chen of VSA Prosthetics is my inspiration.
** Jimmy is the lead singer for the Bone Daddys Band, a local Classic Rock and Country band, and he hasn’t skipped a beat, despite this set-back and the challenges that he has had to face. His positive attitude, along with the incredible support of his wife, have been inspirational to all and has contributed to his tremendous success.
He has elected to join VSA Prosthetics’ network of peer visitors because of how much he was able to benefit from it through his own journey.