DENTON (CBSDFW.COM) - A Denton firefighter's complications from a surgery years ago changed his life Thanksgiving Day.
Thanksgiving morning Gary Weiland said he was outside throwing a football and running around with his children and family when suddenly he experienced a complication from a partial knee replacement he had years ago.
"By the time I got to the hospital I couldn't feel my foot," said Weiland. "That meant that the circulation was being cut off. They couldn't restore blood supply, so they had to amputate just below my knee."
Despite his complications, he's determined to heal his spirit by helping others.
"I'm already looking at the future, as far as wanting to get involved and help people that go through something like this that don't have the type of support that I've been blessed with," said Weiland.
He said he hopes to get back to his operations as a firefighter and do what he loves.
In support of his return is Weiland's chief. He told him to get well and get back to work.
Weiland also said his kids have been a huge help. He said they put up the Christmas lights this year.
"They get me everything I need," said Weiland. "They get my breakfast, they get my lunch. Dinner, whatever I need, they get. My wheelchair, crutches."
Weiland's new life after the complication is an adjustment, but he's determined to find ways to stay active and optimistic.
"Look, I know you guys are going through a tough time right now, but I'm a firefighter," said Weiland. "I'm an amputee. You can do whatever you want and be whatever you want. Don't let that stop you."
Doctors said Weiland may need another amputation above the knee. He said he plans to share his story at local children's hospitals as soon as he can.
A GoFundMe page was set up for medical expenses.
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