Local Teacher’s Trauma Recovery Success Story

Local News

“In someways life is all about overcoming obstacles,” Vascular Surgeon Dr. Lawrence Sampson said.

Doctors at Guthrie are highlighting a trauma recovery success story.

“I was able to look down at my foot and see that it was not in great shape,” Jeremiah Serfas said.

In June of 2011, Athens teacher Jeremiah Serfas was badly injured in a motorcycle accident. He would end up having the lower part of his leg amputated. He remembers how he felt, when he got the news.

“It kind of just hit me like…Ok let’s do this,” Serfas said.

As ready and optimistic as Serfas was, nothing could have prepared him for the challenges ahead.

“Because I had such trauma to my leg I wasn’t actually able to get fit for a prosthesis until November and then I wasn’t able to start walking fully on my prosthesis until march of the following year so it was eight months before I was able to even start walking again,” Serfas said.

Before the accident, Serfas was looking forward to running his next marathon, having just finished his first. Now, he wasn’t sure he’d ever get the chance.

“All of a sudden the rug was pulled out from underneath me and I lost the lower portion of my leg which to me seemed like I would never be able to run again,” Serfas said.

But his doctor had different plans…

“I knew he’d run again. I wasn’t sure what distance but I knew he’d race again so by that point I was optimistic,” Dr. Sampson said.

Soon, a very special bond would form between patient and physician.

“I didn’t realize he was such an avid runner, I mean man he’s serious,” Serfas said.

Just one year after Serfas’s accident, he and Dr. Sampson began training together, eventually running the Disney marathon side by side.

“For me that was like a barrier breaker, I made it, I can do it, just because I have a prosthetic leg I’m not limited to a certain lifestyle so that was powerful for me to get over that hurdle so to say and I’ve continued to push the limits,” Serfas said.

Dr. Sampson says he’s honored to have been a part of what he considers to be a true success story.

“There really is no limit to what he does, none at all, and that’s just a joy to see and a joy to be a part of,” Dr. Sampson said.

Serfas says he’s run a number of races since his injury and that he’s getting very close to his original time.

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