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West Texas Rehab: It's Not the End but A New Life

As the diabetes epidemic causes a rise in prosthetic patients at the West Texas Rehab, patient Willie Shields embraced his prothetic with an open mind that he says strengthened his faith.
Willie Shields was used to running on his own two feet all his life until complications with his diabetes called for a below the knee amputation. Shields says he didn't let the news bring him down he simply accepted it as God's will and says the experience only strengthened his faith and brought him closer to God.

"I'm telling you prayer changes things. I get emotional now, but it's...I cry, but their tears of joy you know? I'm not sad about anything at all you know? I believe God has me. And I think he's using me for a better purpose," West Texas Rehab Patient Willie Shields said.

The prosthetic department at West Texas Rehab sees as many as twenty to thirty patients a day. Recently the number people needing prosthetics has been increasing which may be a result of the diabetes epidemic.

"We're seeing a lot more diabetic complecations now. The population of diabetic foot deformaties has increased which leads to a lot more amputations so out prosthetics is increasing. Our number of prosthetic patients is increasing primarily I think due to the diabetic population," West Texas Rehab Certified Orthotist Eric McLarthy said.

Shields says not his is a living testimony. By accepting the loss of his leg with open arms he prevented entering a state of depression and is happy. Shields is sticking to a more nutritional diet to avoid further complications by eating more vegtables, cutting down on carbohydrates, taking his diabetes medications and drink more water.

"It's not the end of the world it's a new life. Do what you need to do to stay here as long as God wants us here because when you get to heaven you're gonna be a whole new person anyway...it doesn't matter."
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