Miracles Do Happen: Gary Miracle Tells His Story

When tragedy strikes and an individual loses a limb, they may think life as they once knew it is over. But thanks to today’s prosthetic technology, that’s far from the case. A man named Gary Miracle from Florida proved that amputees can continue to live normally—and even finish a two-mile race. This is the story about how the “Miracle” amputee completed a race.

Gary lost both of his arms and legs just below his knees and elbows to a blood infection in December 2019. Before the infection, he was an avid runner and even a state champion on his high school relay team. He spent 117 days recovering in an Orlando hospital, determined to run once again.

Just over a year and a half after his procedure, Gary completed the Tailgate 2 Miler in Viera, Florida, in just over 49 minutes. The story of this quadruple amputee completing his first foot race is an inspiration to us all. It teaches us that nothing is impossible if we’re determined and shines a light on how impressive modern prosthetics are.

Training for the race

Getting adjusted to prosthetic legs is difficult enough on its own, but Gary had to actually learn how to run again because his prosthetic blades don’t have heels—it’s an entirely new running form. He started training for the two-mile race in June 2021 at his orthotists’ facility, and continued to run further and further each day until he felts comfortable enough to compete in the race.

By race day, he had been training so hard that he had an open sore on his left knee, which undoubtedly made the run more difficult and painful. He fought through, though, capturing the hearts of other runners and anyone who’s heard his story.

How his prosthetics made it possible

Even a few decades ago, prosthetic technology wasn’t advanced enough to allow amputees to run, let alone imagine the story of a quadruple amputee competing in a two-mile race. Here’s how his prosthetics made it possible:

  • Design improvements: Today’s running prosthetics are shaped like curved blades and constructed of carbon fiber. The unique shape and sturdier material allow the prosthetic to absorb shock better than a traditional model, making movement—particularly running—more comfortable and natural.
  • Better fit: While the carbon fiber blades absorb shock better than yesterday’s prosthetics, the shock can still be disruptive and painful. It’s evident from the open wound on his knee that Gary’s prosthetic fit wasn’t perfect. However, it was comfortable enough to allow him to run an impressive distance with his blades.

Do you need new prosthetics?

If you or a family member need one or more prosthetic devices, talk to our team at Prothotic Laboratories, Inc. We utilize 3D printers and a computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) system to ensure a precise and comfortable fit for all of our patients. Get in touch with us today to schedule an appointment or to hear more about similar stories of miracle amputees completing races and achieving impressive accomplishments.