July 25, 2003
Methodist donates prosthesis to Iraq war hero
By Lisa Uzzle Gates
Health and Research News Service
MONROE, La.—Methodist Rehabilitation Center is celebrating the heroism of a Monroe native through a donation of technology. The Jackson, Miss. hospital’s orthotics and prosthetics division in Monroe is donating a prosthetic leg to Sgt. Randall Rugg II, who lost his left leg in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Rugg will be given the high performance prosthesis and a second prosthesis for everyday use.
“This leg will have all the bells and whistles. Sgt. Rugg is accustomed to running several miles a day and we want to help him maintain that active lifestyle,” said Steve Lindsley, interim clinic coordinator for the Methodist Orthotics and Prosthetics in Monroe.
Rugg is still recovering from his surgeries and won’t be able to wear the prosthesis for a few weeks, but said he is looking forward to trying out the high-tech prosthesis.
“I’ve been doing a lot of research and talking to people. It’s amazing to me what these legs can do. I can’t wait to get into one,” Sgt. Rugg said.
Rugg, a Monroe native, was injured on the third day of the war when his M88 Tank Recovery Vehicle was hit by several rocket-propelled grenades.
Rugg and one of the his fellow soldiers escaped the vehicle but realized one man was still inside. Though wounded in both legs, Rugg pulled himself up to the footstep of the 18-foot tall vehicle and helped rescue his fellow soldier. As he jumped down from the step, he realized how severe his injury was. “It was like fire shot from my ankle to my waist,” he said. He said his ankle was completely destroyed and he was told he would lose the leg as he was transported by helicopter to safety.