IBOT PERSONAL MOBILITY DEVICE RECIPIENT
Jeremiah Lewis grew up in Cypress, Texas, with his parents and five siblings. The home was a busy and loving place as his mom was the neighborhood babysitter for working parents, and cousins often came to stay for extended periods. The big family was happy and active. They all enjoyed sports, attended church every Sunday, and enjoyed bible study on Tuesday nights. Jeremiah played football, was a wrestler and volunteered at the local pet store. He enjoys spending time with family, game nights, camping, and wrestling with his dad and brothers.
Before his tragic incident, Jeremiah was busy working two jobs. One was a security guard, and the other was a UPS freight handler. He and his brother had just signed a lease on an apartment. He was making plans to start dating and looking forward to his future.
Jeremiah had a set routine of going to work and church, having Popeye's Chicken on Tuesdays, and going to the movies on Saturdays. He loved to help people, and watching his nephew, Lucas, was among his favorite things to do. Jeremiah was blossoming as a young, independent adult and loving the life he was building.
Here is part of Jeremiah's story in his words.
"I am Jeremiah Collins Lewis, and I live in Houston, Texas. I am 25 years old, and my life's trajectory changed in the early morning hours of February 13, 2021.
While I was on my way home from work, my vehicle ran out of gas. Instead of calling a tow truck or my family, I decided to push my truck to a nearby gas station. While pushing on a feeder road, I was struck by a distracted driver traveling at a speed above 80 miles per hour. The scene supported that the driver never hit her brakes as I was crushed between my truck and her car. According to the police report, my face hit the pavement. And, when the driver swerved to the left, both of my legs were severed; I was knocked under my truck, and my truck ran me over. A police officer found me, and I was transferred to HCA as a possible fatality.
I spent the next 48 days fighting for my life – against impossible odds. The doctors suggested that my family put me in Hospice. Medically, they said there was no way that I was going to survive. And, if by some miracle, I did manage to pull through, the doctors thought I would possibly be confined to the bed for the rest of my life.
God's grace and mercy allowed me to survive. Using a double bilateral hip disarticulation surgery, the doctors removed what was left of my femur bones. And, this surgery removed any chance of me utilizing prosthetics currently on the market.
The loss of my legs has caused me to feel more pain and anguish than I ever thought possible.
The amount of suffering and horror I have lived through is nearly impossible to express in words, and it manifests itself daily – both physically and emotionally. In addition, I now need financial assistance to prepare for my future.
Before the incident, I worked two jobs – one as a package handler for UPS and the other as a security guard for ALLIED. I averaged 60 hours a week. Now, due to my injuries, I not only lost a substantial amount of income, but I also lost the ability to recoup these funds as my legs are needed to perform both of my jobs' duties.
This incident has affected my family as well. While my amazing family supports me daily, my family missed work, remodeled their home to suit my needs, and altered their future to meet my current needs. In essence, my family became my physical, emotional, and financial pillars of support.
You might ask, 'How does Jeremiah plan to move forward?' The answer is simple – I will move forward one day at a time. I constantly seek His path, and I request a path that allows me to walk again. And while I may not achieve my original dream to one day serve in the FBI or Secret Service and then retire with my own security agency, I still dream of achieving more to rise above my current state. Since God has a plan for my life, I plan to achieve the following:
Walk on the street
Regain my original height of 5'10"
Get married and have children
Swim in the ocean
Jog during my workouts
Get up from be and grab a glass of water during the night
Wrestle with my brothers and my nephew
Protect my mother, sisters, and nieces
Fulfill the dream to travel to Africa and walk amongst the animals
Overcome the jarring emotions that plague me day and night
Feel like I am a man
Stop feeling like I am trapped in my own body
Stop feeling as though I look like a freak
Stop being self-conscious of my facial and body scars
When I saw iBOT I had the hope of not being 3 feet tall anymore, always having people stand over me, I wouldn't have to walk on my hands, I'd be able to reach items, have a sense of independence, be eye to eye on my wedding day, and bring my manhood back to life! It's the next best thing to walking in my life right now. It would give me the motivation to keep living for a better future and experience better things. I could actually be considered for other jobs and positions, possibly even as a 911 dispatch operator. I could help more people and feel more connected."
American Mobility Project, because of generous donors, has awarded Jeremiah an iBOT Personal Mobility Device. The Board of Directors has had a wonderful time getting to know Jeremiah, a determined and God-loving man. It's an honor to have Jeremiah as a member of the American Mobility Project family, and we are looking forward to seeing all you accomplish, Jeremiah.
UPDATE: In November 2022, Jeremiah traveled to New Hampshire to learn how to use the iBOT PMD. He brought it home with him to Texas and is continuing to live life to the fullest.