KALISPELL, Mont. - A car accident shattered one man's leg, but thanks to a breakthrough in orthopedic braces, he has a new lease on life.
Jonathan McCubbins is a fisheries biologist, a natural athlete -- but three years ago a car wreck destroyed his ankle and kept him from doing what he loved. Doctors wanted to amputate his foot, but McCubbins refused. So he found his way to Northern Care Prosthetics and Orthotics and a way to get back on his feet.
Doug Jack of Northern Care has been working with Dynamic Bracing Solutions for a few years and recently fit McCubbins with a state of the art carbon fiber orthotic brace.
"There's the coronal plane, the sagittal plane, and there's the transverse plane," explained Jack. "So it aligns the foot and ankle in all three planes and holds it there."
McCubbins was skeptical -- he had been through 13 hospitalizations and 9 surgeries to fix his ankle and he was still in pain.
"I've been let down so many times before that I felt like something's got to give," said McCubbins.
On Thursday Jack helped McCubbins into the brace and cuff, and the transition to pain free walking was almost instant.
"It almost seems surreal still," as McCubbins recalled Thursday's walk. "But it was absolutely incredible."
"We were all just teary eyed. To be a part of that, I'm hooked," said Jack.
McCubbins tells NBC Montana he's itching to run, jump, and hike. Most importantly, he's ready to get back to the water.
"I'm going to be able to walk up and down a cobbled stream bed o n Monday without pain, without hurting for the next week," McCubbins said.
For more on Dynamic Bracing Solutions, visit their website.