Video: Medic back to work after amputation
Joe Riffe suffered serious injuries during a hike, putting the job he loved in jeopardy
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Being a paramedic keeps 31-year-old Joe Riffe busy. "It can be pretty hectic. It can be pretty tired. It depends on how busy we are that day," says Riffe. But, it's a job he says he wouldn't trade for anything. "It's been a long ride, but I'm happy to be back here though," says Joe Riffe.
Out on the road, he's focused on helping others. But, in May of 2011 he's the one who needed the help. "We had taken the wrong trail. Ended up at the top of the waterfall," says Joe Riffe. He was hiking at Tioga Falls and fell 110 feet. "I remember getting in the water. I remember landing at the bottom of and waking up and realizing I was injured pretty severely," he says.
The injury was so severe that he really only had two options. "The best option I got was to amputate it or have it fused. So I went with the amputation instead of the fusion," says Joe Riffe. The job he loved was in jeopardy.
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