James Geter, 52, San Diego, lost both of his legs to diabetes. Due to poor health management, Geter underwent four surgeries to save one of his legs, but unfortunately lost his first leg during 2006 and then lost his second leg in 2007.
After the first amputation, Geter was confined to a wheel chair for a year. After suffering a second amputation, he was fitted for prosthetic legs. Following both amputations, Geter suffered a stroke in 2008 that affected his ability to balance his body. After undergoing brain surgery, Geter's balance has been restored and he is now able to get up and walk on his prosthetic legs. At times, he uses a cane, but he is thankful to be able walk independent again.
Last year, he participated in the American Heart Assoication's annual Heart Walk with the friends he made at Alvarado Hospital only days after being discharged from hospital following his brain surgery. This year, he will walk in the 2010 Heart Walk with Team Alvarado and his caretaker, and hopes to complete the walk without his cane. He plans to continue the tradition and participate in the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk every year.
During 2009 Geter received San Diego Rehabilitation Institute’s Comebacker of the Year award given by Alvarado Hospital. The Comebackers Neuro Club provides ongoing education, support and recreational activities for survivors at any stage of recovery from a stroke, traumatic brain injury or other neurological impairment. The Comebacker meetings are held once a month, and Geter has been attending them each month for almost one year.
The Comebackers lead off the Heart Walk's 1-mile Survivor Walk every year.