Patrick Catlin

I was born and raised in a large family in a small town called Spencer, New York. We lived on a small family farm. I grew up hunting , fishing and camping. Like most country boys I loved anything to do with the outdoors. I was an average student and did not get involved with sports or any other school activities. After school I worked a couple different jobs got married had a couple kids. I got divorced and spent a long time on my own. I then met Sharon, my wife in Stroudsburg, Pa. Suddenly life was good and had meaning again. Then disaster struck. My left knee began to swell up to the point that I would have to get it drained. This went on for a couple months. I was then sent to a orthopedic doctor. He performed two knee surgeries. It looked as if the problem was solved. Until the knee began to swell again. I was then sent to an oncologist. He was quickly able to tell I was suffering from a rare form of cancer. After weeks of debate with other doctors the decision was made to amputate my left leg above the knee. The surgery was done and due to some infections I was bed ridden for a long period of time. By the time I had healed my hip had formed what they call a contracture. I was given a C-leg by a prosthetic company. I was excited at first thing that I would be walking soon. When after months of struggling and never getting to be able to walk more than a short distance with a cane I gave up. The companies I was working with told me due to the shortness of my limb and the contracture I would probably always use a cane. So there I sat in a wheelchair feeling sorry for myself. I was ready to sit there and drink and smoke my life away. I was living in housing for the elderly and disabled wasting away. My wife had finally had enough she convinced me to move to Tennessee in 2011. I got with a prosthetic company here ready to give it one more try. But again it was a lot of effort and the same results. I was ready to give up when one day at the local YMCA I meet Daryl Farler, a double amputee. He told me of the group ABR that had helped him. I met with Daryl at The Surgical Clinic and everything changed. Aaron changed the type of socket I wore to a suction fit and also changed the leg itself. The results were great! I was soon walking 2-3 miles, that’s right miles, a day. They then talked to me about trying one of their running blades. Which I got early this spring. Since then I have ran in 6 5k events here locally. I have been able to not only finish them all but also have finished with a better and faster time each one. My short term goals include doing a 10k by sometime next summer and then setting my sights on a half to full marathon within a year or two. I now look forward to returning to work full time. My biggest goal is to be able pass on what was given to me by the ABR group. That is to make a difference in just one person’s life. To show them that no matter what they are suffering from their life has meaning and to never give up. If you read this whole bio then you will see that prior to my amputation I really was not living a productive life. Being successful in life is not how much you have or how good you are. It is how much good you are willing to do for others. Oh I forgot to mention I will be 50 years old tomorrow. I plan on celebrating this by running a 5k with a bunch of other nuts dressed as Santa!

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