On July 17, 2016, Fred Lackey, a 54-year-old sergeant in the National Guard who works as a mechanic on trucks and Humvees, walked down the aisle before 100 friends and family at a beautiful lakefront wedding ceremony in Anderson, South Carolina, to tie the knot with his wife Jennifer, a 43-year-old registered nurse. Over the course of 17 years of dating, the couple has been through many of life’s experiences together including raising four boys; the birth of their grandchildren; Fred’s 11-month deployment to Iraq in 2008; and on most recently on Jan. 15, Fred’s amputation of his right leg as a result of being diagnosed with peripheral vascular disease.
Following his life-changing amputation surgery, Fred chose AnMed Health Rehabilitation Hospital, an affiliate entity of AnMed Health and HealthSouth Corporation, for inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services to help him adapt and relearn basic tasks. An inpatient for 12 days who continued with outpatient therapy for a couple of months after discharge, Fred performed many types of exercises to help him regain function, balance and strength so that he could better adapt to his prosthetic leg. He also found a lot of encouragement from other veterans overcoming debilitating challenges through a local veterans support group.
He’s accomplished his original goals of being able to drive, cook and bathe again; but is working towards his ultimate goal of getting back to restoring his 1967 Camaro, a project that poses challenges when using his prosthetic leg. Because of his determination to regain his independence, he was able to confidently walk his bride down the aisle on his new prosthetic leg just six months following amputation surgery.
Fred thanks everyone who played a role in his caretaking, making him feel more confident, teaching him skills needed to take care of himself and helping him get back home to Jennifer and other loved ones.
“Every step I took, I felt like it got easier,” stated Fred.