KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A Knoxville man who lost his leg a year ago has come a long way, and it's all thanks to a breakthrough prosthetic device.
One of Larry Austin's favorite things to do is go outside and hit some golf balls.
But just one year ago, Larry thought his golfing days were over.
"I got home and I took my golf shoes off and my socks and my foot was black and blue," he said.
Larry rushed to the emergency room, where doctors found he had dislocated four bones in his right foot. Larry ended up having surgery.
"He put four screws in my right foot to put the bones back into position, which was great except the surgical wound on top of my foot was so big, about the size of an egg, and so deep, it went all the way down to the bone, and it wouldn't heal," he said.
After surgery, Larry was diagnosed with a nerve disease that left his feet and legs numb, diabetes, and something called charcot foot where the bones separate from the joints.
He had two skin graft operations that didn't work.
Then he developed a raging bone infection and was left with just one option: amputate his leg.
"I didn't go through blaming everybody. A lot of people want to blame God, 'Why me?' Well, why not me? I know that God can use me a whole lot better with one leg that he could with two," Larry said.
Only two months after surgery, Larry had healed enough to be fitted for a prosthetic.
"You stick this thing on and you stand up to make sure it's fitting in there nice and tight," he showed us.
At Premier Prosthetic Center in Knoxville, he learned about the new innovative device called the Edison.
The leg has a built-in vacuum pump designed for active people just like him.
"I think it's a prime example of how quickly and how well prosthetic technology is evolving to more closely adapt to natural human function," said prosthetist Carey Bunch.
These days, Larry isn't just playing golf again, he's playing well.
"My golf game has actually improved since I lost my leg!" Larry told us, laughing.
He said his heart goes out to the victims who lost limbs in the Boston Marathon bombings, because he knows that recovery is tough and it is expensive.
Larry said he hopes to start a foundation for amputees who've lost their right legs to help them pay to modify their cars.