Lost limb won't break the spirit of man saved by soldiers

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A car wreck victim is taking a big step toward normalcy after losing a leg. Last month, Jeremy Brunson was in an accident on Highway 378 outside Sumter.

You wouldn't know from his persona, but Brunson came moments away from death in that crash.

"I was the passenger and we went straight into a tree, you're talking fifty to zero like that," Brunson said. "I did like this to try to put my back to it, and I couldn't get this leg out fast enough. And BAM! It was gone like that."

Thanks to some quick thinking by U.S. Army Central soldiers, Brunson left that wreck alive, but his right leg had to be amputated. Sgt. 1st Class John Jackson and a fellow soldier saw the accident in their rear view mirror and stopped to help.

"I'm telling you I was lucky," said Brunson. "I really believe if it weren't for them I would have bled out."

Both soldiers even visited him later in the hospital. Brunson recalled faintly recognizing them from the accident.

"This guy came walking into my room. He said, 'Hey man.' I said, 'Hey.' He said, 'You don't know who I am do you?' I said, 'I don't have a clue.' He said, 'You cussed me out at the accident.' I said, 'Did I?' He said, 'I was the one tightening down the tourniquet.' I said, 'Yes, I did!" Brunson laughed.

His prosthetic specialist, Tripp Rice, says most amputees suffer from depression after losing a limb. But not Brunson.

"His attitude from day one was 'You know what, I'm going to take this and deal with it, get it behind me, and just live my life,'" said Rice.

Rice believes Brunson's friends, family, and newly engaged fiancé played a part in his quick recovery.

"He's got a lot of support," said Rice. "He's not going through this by himself. We'll stay right behind him."

Brunson believes God has a reason for his survival.

"I'm telling you, He was obviously saying it wasn't my time because he put both of those people right there for me," Brunson said.

He may have lost a leg, but Brunson found that he's got plenty of friends and faith to help him step forward. His new prosthetic leg won't be ready for a couple weeks, but Rice says he's already started walking on a temporary leg.

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