New technology gives Iraq war veteran a new lease on life

Life changing surgery for Iraq war veteran

DENVER -- A veteran from the Iraq war has new lease on life, thanks to cutting edge technology.

Jace Badia was injured in 2006 by a roadside bomb, leading to a traumatic amputation above his left knee. Now he walks freely, thanks to a prosthetic leg -- but it's technology unlike any you've seen before.

There's an attachment drilled into his femur, with a binding secured by his own muscle and skin -- it's cutting edge because the material has never been used before, reducing infection.

It’s known as Osseous Integration.

The surgery was performed at Presbyterian St. Luke's Hospital in Denver.

"This has opened up so many doors for me. No more pain. No more lacking of mobility," said Badia. The new connector is sturdy and won’t need constant adjustment.

"At one time it was really hot in Georgia, there were 26 times the leg would fall off and I would have to put it back on from perspiration," he said.

Dr. Ronald Hugate, who helped perform the surgery, is also a veteran.

"For us to be able to use our time and resources and effort and talents to help him is really satisfying," said Dr. Hugate.

The surgery took just about three and-a-half hours. Now, Badia walks the hospital halls wearing red high tops.

"I'm already up and walking six weeks after the surgery."

The hope is others benefit from this groundbreaking technology with Jace serving as a pioneer.

"My life just blossomed, you know, the future is amazing. It's going to be amazing." 

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