The most famous recipient of DAV’s Outstanding Disabled Veteran of the Year Award is Tammy Duckworth, who was honored in 2008 for her service as director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs. This year’s winner, Mike McElhiney, occupies a similar position in the state of Minnesota. Since losing his right arm in combat in 2001, during the first US engagements in Afghanistan following 9/11, McElhiney has worked tirelessly to promote legislation, fundraising, and programming that benefits wounded warriors.
“Mike brings a wealth of knowledge about veterans issues because of his lived experience through the VA system,” says one of McElhiney’s higher-ups in the state, Larry Herke. “He knows how to navigate a lot of the systems that many of our veterans are challenged with.”
Elsewhere in amputee news:
TikTok was made for weird, random video vignettes like this one. As some Australians stroll on an oceanfront cliff, in violation of quarantine, a paraglider with a prosthetic leg suddenly drops out of the sky and warns them “The police are coming!” It’s got 8.5 million views and counting. Paul Revere couldn’t have done it better himself.
An Idaho widower can press on with a lawsuit against American Airlines on behalf of his now-deceased wife. The woman, a bilateral amputee, filed a claim two years ago after being denied access to a wheelchair midflight, forcing her to crawl from her seat to the lavatory and back.
We still haven’t seen any hard numbers about how many amputations have been caused by COVID, but the anecdotes keep piling up. Here’s a story out of Mississippi, where blues musician Bryan Thompson lost his left leg below the knee after the virus caused severe blood clots.
While we’re on the subject of music: Check out BKA Caleb Graves’ serious chops on the drum kit.
Ever wondered what it takes to start up a new prosthetics company? Here are the ups and downs Ken Endo endured after launching Xiborg.
Prosthetics startup stories, chapter 2: One of the incoming students in Oxford University’s MBA program, a Sudanese student named Ashfar Mizo, is the founder of a 3D-printed prosthetics firm called Nyla.
Paralympian Oksana Masters tells GQ Magazine how she gets herself out of the “pain cave.”