Anthony Coleman returns to Ambergris Caye with prosthetic arms
Friday, January 10th, 2020
After losing both arms in a terrible electrical accident at a construction site in 2017, 15-year-old island student Anthony Coleman received the best Christmas gift of his life almost three years later; a pair of brand-new prosthetic arms. He underwent treatment at Shriners Hospital for Children in Shreveport, Louisiana, USA, where he was successfully evaluated and equipped with his new arms. Coleman returned to San Pedro Town on Saturday, January 4th just in time to start classes at San Pedro High School.
Coleman is happy to be back at home and continues to learn how to use his prosthetic arms, which are the best of both worlds in terms of durability and function. His mother, who accompanied him, thanks everyone that contributed to the cause and is grateful for the change her son is experiencing.
This Christmas miracle was made possible thanks to the intervention of the Ambergris Caye Masonic Lodge, who arranged for him to get treated at Shriners Hospital. Masons and Shriners are well known for helping children and families, and they were happy to sponsor this life-changing cause.
After announcing his acceptance to Shriners in September, other organizations in the community came on board to assist in Coleman’s journey. The San Pedro Justices of the Peace and the San Pedro Police formation held a dollar drive on October 28th. They raised much-needed funds for Coleman and his mother, who travelled to Louisiana, USA on November 3rd. Following an evaluation for the treatment, Coleman was fitted with prosthetic arms and soon after, began learning how to use them. One of the main activities was building upper body strength to support the weight of the arms. Coleman can now control the prosthetics with his arm muscles. He is not expected to return to the USA anytime soon unless needed.
Coleman’s adaptation following the accident
Despite his disabilities, Coleman has been excelling at San Pedro High School, both academically and in sports. He overcame the tragedy of the accident and taught himself to write and conduct many of the functions able-bodied people do. He never saw his ordeal as an obstacle to dream big in life or to continue living like an ordinary person. This willingness to thrive touched many people on the island, who supported Coleman during his days of recovery following the accident. With the support of his family and the community, he lived a normal life, attended school and filled his life with joy and hope. Today, thanks to the love of his island community, he is beginning a new chapter with two prosthetic arms.
Coleman looks forward to starting high school again and makes the best of this opportunity. He and his family will forever be thankful to the Masonic Lodge on the island, Shriners Hospital for Children and the San Pedro Justices of the Peace, the San Pedro Police formation and everyone who contributed in one way or another to his rehabilitation.
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