An Indiana man who had his legs and penis amputated following a drunk driving accident that landed him in a fiery wreck two years ago is on a campaign to educate others about the dangers of getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol as he continues to recover from his injuries.
“I had a lot of hobbies before my accident such as fishing, hunting, camping, etc.,” Joseph Green, 34, told MDW Features. “I was very outdoorsy. My accident changed all of that.”
Green, who had met his mom and brother for dinner following a 20-hour work shift, and then stopped at another bar before deciding to call it a night, had started falling asleep at the wheel when he came upon a sharp turn. He lost control and was tossed out of his truck before the vehicle landed on top of him and caught fire, he told the news outlet.
Green was pulled out of the flames by a bystander who lived near the scene. He suffered a broken shoulder, tailbone, sternum, ribs, collapsed lung and dislocated hip and knee.
According to the report, he spent the next four months in the hospital recovering from third- and fourth-degree burns and underwent 14 surgeries, eventually having the lower half of his body amputated due to the severe burns.
“I was heavily medicated but still experienced a lot of pain,” he told MDW Features. “I had multiple skin graft surgeries and they were really rough. Although my wounds have technically healed, every day is still a struggle.”
Green, who uses a wheelchair but has also learned how to walk again using prosthetics, still suffers from a broken shoulder and has a catheter. In addition to his injuries, Green lost his car, house, job and has started raising funds to help his recovery on a GoFundMe page.
“Mentally things have been tough for me,” he told MDW Features. “I’ve lost a lot; not just my legs and penis but I lost my body’s ability to produce testosterone, so I have to take testosterone daily.”
He said support from family and friends has helped him cope with his new reality, which includes weaning himself off medication and checking new skin for pressure sores.
“Everyone was shocked. I almost died, I should’ve died,” he said. “The doctors can’t explain how I lived so it was rough on everyone, especially at first when they didn’t know if I’d live or not. It’s no dream living like this, but I try to make the most of it.
I like motivating people, that helps me a lot mentally when people tell me they’re inspired or started working out again because they saw me doing it, it’s a good feeling,” he said.