Man Overcomes Amputation Of Both Legs, Loss Of Arm

ALLIANCE, Ohio (AP) - George Fisher considers each one-arm push up he does to be a gift from God.

"I thank God for bringing me this far," he says.

Fisher, 59, has come a long way. He has overcome the loss of one arm and the amputation of both of his legs.

Forty-eight years ago, Fisher was walking to a store with his younger brother, Russell, when the tennis shoe on his left foot got wedged in the train tracks the boys were crossing.

While his brother went for help, a boxcar being hooked onto a train got loose and rolled toward Fisher. It sliced off his left arm above the elbow and mangled his left leg, which had to be amputated.

Fisher learned to walk with crutches and later got an artificial leg. He was independent and didn't need any help taking care of himself.

But that changed in December when Fisher's right leg had to be amputated because of diabetes.

"I didn't want to live," Fisher told The Review. "At first I didn't think I could do the things I did before. I felt like I could do nothing."

Praying four or five times a day and a plaque hanging in his living room that reads "Jesus Never Fails" has helped motivate Fisher to recover.

He has therapy sessions three times a day at the Center of Rehabilitation at Alliance Community Hospital.

"The Lord is not done with you yet, George," Jane Hammond, clinical coordinator in the physical rehabilitation unit, tells Fisher, trying to get him to work harder.

Hammond said Fisher has gotten mentally and physically stronger while working on mobility and strengthening exercises with therapists who also teach him how to cook, wash dishes and do laundry from his wheelchair.

"I do everything they tell me to for the future when I will be on my own," said Fisher, whose family currently helps him with grocery shopping and paying bills.

Fisher, however, doesn't need help with everything.

He recently did 50 push ups with his remaining right arm by doing 25, stopping to rest and then another 25.

Fisher appreciates the help that the rehabilitation center's staff has given him.

"The people here are great," he said. "They understand your situation. If you get down, they talk to you until you feel like living again."

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)