Here are a couple of pictures of SFC Chris Livesay, an 18D w/5th SFG. On Apr 7 2003, he was WIA on the move to Baghdad. The wound necessitated amputating his left leg above the knee.
The pictures are of him on Suckchon DZ at FT Campbell on 29 Oct after a jump from a C-17. It was his first jump since losing his leg.
Below is a story about him from earlier this year
Company makes prosthesis for soldier free of charge
By ANN WALLACE
Fort Campbell soldier Chris Livesay doesn't need a cane or crutches to walk even though his left leg was amputated at the knee last year.
An innovative surgical procedure suggested by an Ohio prosthesisologist has provided Livesay with mobility.
He was wounded April 7 as his Special Forces team pushed into a downtown area of Baghdad, Iraq. "There was a lot of gunfire. I felt the pain and it registered I was hit," says the Army medic.
The bullet hit a major artery.
"I lost strength pretty quickly. I couldn't even get my weapon up," he recalls.
An applied tourniquet couldn't stop the profuse bleeding.
"I was in dire straits. They didn't expect me to make it," Livesay says.
But make it he did.
After emergency surgery performed in an abandoned building that had been converted into a field hospital, he was flown to Kuwait and then on to Rota, Spain.
While in Spain more surgery and procedures were done in an attempt to halt a spreading infection.
By the time he arrived at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., five days after he had been shot, Livesay knew amputation was necessary.
"At Walter Reed they did the old guillotine-style, just chopped it off just below the knee," Livesay says.
During the following months a bone infection developed leaving exposed bone. The use of any prosthesis was questionable.
Through a fellow Fort Campbell amputee, Livesay learned about Raymond Francis, chief prosthesisologist at Ohio Willowood Co., in Mount Sterling, Ohio.
Because of the bone infection Chris knew more surgery was looming.
But Francis gave him hope that a brand new procedure might be viable.
Francis conferred with surgeon Daniel Unger at the Navy hospital in Portsmouth, Va.
"The problem was the bone was infected, which necessitated removal of 4 to 5 inches of bone which would have included the knee cap," Francis says.
If the kneecap went, so did any rotation mobility.
"I tried to convince them to only take 1 inch, but they said no," Francis says.
After further consultation, agreement came for a different approach.
"What resulted is a knee disarticulation amputation. They took part of the kneecap and grafted it to bone higher above the knee," Francis says.
The unique aspect of the new procedure was the use of periosteum (skin around the bone) around the grafted bone joint.
"It's like when you have a clean break in your arm or leg. The doctor sets it, and the perosium tells your brain to grow the bone back together. By placing the skin around the bone graft, the body essentially responded like it was a clean break and the bones grew together," Francis says.
The procedure was a success, and Chris is now using a prosthesis without pain.
"I have a chance at a fairly normal life now because of Mr. Francis and Dr. Unger," Livesay says.
And Francis' company hasn't charged Livesay for his artificial limb.
"They don't charge soldiers. They do a lot of the work needed by Special Forces guys who were wounded. They are the best," Livesay says with a grin.
Francis is quick to decline any accolades.
"We're not here to push our name. We're here to take care of these wonderful people," Francis says, "We will not turn our back on the men and women of the Armed Forces."
Ann Wallace can be reached at 245-0287 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. This story was originally published in the April 20 edition of The Leaf-Chronicle.
Lily and Chris Livesay stand in front of Hilldale Baptist Church where they attend with their two children Bryana and Mitchell. Chris lost a leg in combat in Iraq.
Originally published Sunday,
April 11, 2004