A Real Bionic Man

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CBS
On first glance, 20-year-old Cameron Clapp might look like a typical California kid who loves the sun and his music.

But as CBS News correspondent Bill Whitaker reports, Cameron is unique in so many ways.

Cameron was 14 when, after a night of partying that included drinking, he nodded off on some tracks and was run over by a train.

"Boom. I got hit by train," he says. "Three days later, I woke up in the hospital to find that, you know, both my legs and an arm were gone."

But talk to him and you'll never hear a word of bitterness.

"I deserve the consequences of my actions," he says. "I am lucky to have so much in my life. I've adapted to my situation to live life to the fullest. Getting hit by a train and living — you know, that right there is enough to be happy about."

Just months after leaving the hospital, Cameron started swimming and taking his first tentative steps. With generous insurance, he was able to get and master his state-of-the-art legs — $45,000 each.

"There is a microprocessor in the knee," he says of the brains behind his new legs.

He soon was driving, jumping and running. He astounded his doctors and specialists. He told them he wanted to walk down stairs without holding on — and he did.

"We've never seen that before, anywhere in the world," says prosthetics designer Kevin Carroll. "To me, if he can do that, anything is possible."

As remarkable as his recovery and his attitude might be, Cameron says his greatest achievement is not what he has been able to do for himself, but what he is now able to do for others.

"My vision was to get rid of the wheelchair," he says.

He travels the country speaking to amputees, encouraging veterans who lost limbs in Iraq and Afghanistan. His message? There are no limits.

"I have never thought that anything is impossible," he says.

He wouldn't trade his new life for anything.

"Honestly, I would not want my legs and arm back," he says. "I wouldn't be the person I am today." A very unique person.