Walter Capillo is grateful for every hug, every smile, every moment he gets with his mom and family and friends.
One year ago Wednesday, the 29-year-old woke up in the hospital after a traumatic experience. On Nov. 16, 2019, Walter was hit by a car while riding his motorcycle in Fort Lauderdale.
"He grabbed my hand and he told me, 'you’re in the hospital, you were in an accident, you don’t have your left leg anymore,'" Walter recalled.
He didn't remember a thing.
The surgeon who helped save his life, did.
"His limb was like a spaghetti noodle, bleeding profusely, extremely sick on the brink of coding," said said Dr. Eric Johnson of Broward Health North.
Walter spent two months at Broward Health North. After multiple surgeries, he now wears a prosthetic.
He could be focused on what he lost, but instead he’s thankful.
"I am absolutely grateful for everyone that has had a part in my recovery, in getting me to where I am, my physical therapist, the doctors who performed the surgeries, everyone," Walter said,
Last week, Walter got the chance to tell them himself, when he dropped off coffee and donuts to the staff who nursed him back to health. The gratitude was emotional.
And this Thanksgiving, he has a message for anyone else facing what he endured.
"I know how scary it is, I know what it’s like to lose hope," Walter said. "You always need to look at it from the positive side, it could be worse but you’re still here."
Even with Walter’s gratitude to the staff, his family and friends, he wants to do more -- this time for people who have gone through what he’s been through by starting an amputee support group at Broward Health North.