Airborne Amputees: 'Life isn't over'

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Not even a fatality kept eight amputees from skydiving Nov. 10 as part of the first Airborne Amputee Skydiving Event hosted by the Amputee and Prosthetic Center in Houston.
Thirty amputees signed up for the event, but 22 cancelled after hearing about a death at Skydive Spaceland on the eve of the jump.
"They wanted to send a strong message," said Joe Sansone, CEO of the center, which provides artificial limbs to amputees from six locations in Houston. "Life isn't over. Amputees can be just as active."
More than 50 media outlets, including the Associated Press, picked up the story, according to Sansone, also CEO of TMC Consulting and TMC Orthopedic.
The Airborne Amputees included Fred Winter, an 89-year-old World War II veteran who had his right leg amputated below the knee after a hunting buddy accidentally shot him in the ankle. Winter still works as a consultant and regularly swims and plays golf.
"I'm (skydiving) simply to get the word out," he told The AP. "I've had all the thrills I need."
The Amputee and Prosthetic Center plans to host its second Airborne Amputee Skydiving Event this summer.