Moving forward: Kayaking with prosthetic limbs

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- Amputees hopped onto kayaks and canoes, without hindrance from their prosthesis.

A Navy veteran hops into a kayak with his service dog for the first time since his amputation.

Rutabaga Paddlesports and Hanger Clinic, which builds prosthetic limbs, co-hosted an adaptive boating event Saturday morning, at the pond nestled between the two locations.

Among the mix of attendees was a Navy veteran, who returned to the water for the first time since his leg was amputated in 2012. His service dog hopped into the boat with him.
Several amputees, like David Prucha, experienced their first time on water.

“I’ve always thought that kayaking looked like fun, but I never thought to try to do it,” Prucha said. “I said, ‘Yeah, let’s try it.’ It’s never too late.”

Prucha, who lost one hand and has two fingers on the other, tried a new prosthetic limb, specifically designed for kayaking.

Today marked one year since Kristen Buchanan received surgery on her leg, which she lost to infection following a motorcycle crash. She explained how everyday activities require more effort.

“It’s a big trust thing when it comes to putting your body on top of this thing that you’ve never walked with before,” she said.

But she added she does not dwell on the past.

“I tried to do everything that I did before having my accident,” Buchanan said. “You’ve got to get back to everything you did before just to make it as normal as possible."

She said that she is back to doing all the activities that make her happy.