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All he wants for Christmas is a leg

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Timothy James, 52, sits on his skateboard on Southern Main Road, La Romaine and demonstrates how he uses his skateboard to move around in San Fernando. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH

While many wish for the latest gadget to make their Christmas bright, Timothy James has one simple wish this year: To get a prosthetic leg. James, 52, of Alexander Street, La Romaine, lost his left leg eight years ago and now has to use a skateboard to get around. He said all he wanted for Christmas was to be able to walk and jog like he used to do before he lost his limb. “My Christmas wish is for a foot. Once I could get a prosthetic foot like where you see them running and jumping. 



“People getting this foot and they running, they jumping, climbing everything. That is what I want to be able to do,” he said. On Friday the T&T Guardian spotted James on his skateboard on the Southern Main Road, La Romaine, as busy shoppers walked past him. James, who said he was “free, single and disengaged,” said he preferred to use a skateboard for its easy mobility when he had to move around. He said he did not have a wheelchair nor did he want one.


“I have real clothes to wear, but I do not want to wear it to ride no skateboard or wheelchair. I like to dress, I like to walk. I like to look good,” he said. James said eight years ago he lost his leg under suspicious circumstances and believed it was the result of “obeah”. He said he was fed a meal by a female relative and within minutes his leg started to twist and went limp. 



The woman, he said, called the ambulance when he began groaning with pain and when the emergency medical technicians came they stabbed his leg to determine if he could feel pain. He said he had lost feeling beneath his knee and was rushed to the San Fernando General Hospital. “When we reach in Casualty, they carry me to surgery. When I wake up the next day, that is when I realise they cut it,” he said.


James said his leg was infected with gangrene, a condition that occurs when body tissue dies. He said his right leg was healthy and could hold his body weight and he dreams of being able to walk and run like he used to do before his loss. James said a charity group offered him a motorised wheelchair but he turned them down. “I do not want that. I want a foot, because I want to jog. I could move the other foot, I could put weight on it. It have a long pin in it and so I could move around,” he said.


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