- Associated Press - Saturday, February 18, 2017

CHICAGO (AP) - A 19-year-old man who lost his legs in a car accident last year has received a new pair of prosthetic limbs thanks to a survivor of the Boston Marathon bombing and a Chicago prosthetist.

Vidal Lopez received the prosthetic legs from a foundation Heather Abbott created after the bombing, the Chicago Tribune (https://trib.in/2lMbNFI) reported. The Rhode Island woman was one of 17 people who lost at least one limb in the April 15, 2013, bombing.

The foundation has provided Lopez and about 10 other amputees with customized prosthetics not covered by insurance.

Abbott estimates Lopez’s new legs cost about $80,000.

“I know double above-the-knee amputees who travel by themselves, who live their lives, who work, and (Lopez) should be able to do all those things,” Abbott said. “He’s got his whole life ahead of him. So he should have legs that allow him to do that, and I wanted to be able to help him, and everybody in the foundation, the board, made it a priority to get him what he needs.”

David Rotter, a licensed prosthetist with Chicago prosthetics company Scheck & Siress, designed the limbs.

Lopez, who lives in St. Charles, was hurt in Mexico after a semitrailer plowed into his car in July 2016. Lopez wants to study engineering in college next year, a dream that was put on hold because of his condition.

“When I lost both of my legs I thought I wouldn’t be able to (do) a lot of things, but with this technology and this support that I have now, I think that everything changed,” Lopez said.

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Information from: Chicago Tribune, https://www.chicagotribune.com


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