Born in Odessa, Texas, Edwin Myers claims the area’s familiar “Friday-Night-Lights” aesthetic as his hometown. He moved North to Lubbock, Texas, with his family during his senior year of high school.
Not long after, he discovered his calling.
Like his father before him, Edwin became a preacher and served for over fifty years. Throughout that time, he explored other pursuits – sales, and teaching – but has always felt at home in the church.
“I enjoy it,” he said, smiling.
“It’s a thing where you can build relationships with people and help them – with their marriages, with their kids. […] That’s the joy that I really receive.”
A twin, he followed his brother to Searcy, Arkansas, during a difficult time in his life. He was experiencing a rough patch in his marriage and wanted to tackle his struggles head-on. Edwin and his wife overcame that hurdle, however, and have been married for fifty-seven years.
The two have remained partners in life and adventures. They spent nearly a decade living in China, teaching English in the 2010s. During that time, Edwin walked almost two hours every day to and from class.
“I think that’s what made my bones so strong,” he said.
“They were kind of amazed when they went to do the amputation how strong my bones and muscles were in my feet, but you know, when you walk that long every day for 10 years, it helps.”
Edwin has been an amputee for nearly two years now, but the beginning of his journey started in 2007 when he had his first heart surgery. In 2020, he had pain in his chest and his wife and son urged him to go back to the doctor. The doctors told him it was time for a “redo” – to give his heart every chance of avoiding a disastrous trip to the emergency room.
Edwin thought about that for a time and prayed about it with his wife, as well. He decided to do it, and the procedure was running smoothly until it wasn’t. He had a bad reaction to heparin – an anticoagulant used to decrease the chance of blood clots.
Things escalated quickly. The blood clots were heading to Edwin’s lungs, and he was in a precarious position. His chance of going into a coma was high, but luckily, he avoided that fate. However, he still had mountains to climb as his feet became the target of the infection. The doctors did everything they could but eventually concluded that they would need to amputate them to save Edwin’s life.
He remembers wanting to wait and see if the infection might clear up before amputating. “The doctor said, ‘Right now, if they amputate, you can be what’s called a below-the-knee amputee, which is a lot easier to recover from,’” Edwin remembered. The doctor went on to tell him if he waited, they might have to amputate above the knees.
There was also the chance that the infection could even kill him.
Edwin decided he still had a lot of living left to do. “If this is my life or my feet, I can live without my feet,” he thought. After he made that decision, however, the reality of his situation overwhelmed him.
“All of a sudden, it just engulfed me,” he said. “I knew my life was going to change. I thought I might be in a wheelchair the rest of my life, but I just started crying uncontrollably.” His wife was there by his side, and the two weathered the storm that night at the hospital together.
The following day, Edwin felt at peace about his future. “It was a beautiful Sunday morning and I said, ‘Okay, Lord, this is the day you were resurrected. It’s a day for my resurrection, too.”
Thankfully, Edwin’s procedure went smoothly. He was on the road to recovery when Snell Prosthetics & Orthotics came into the picture. The way he tells it, he almost bypassed Snell entirely, due to the commute he would have to make from Searcy to Little Rock.
He called to cancel his first appointment as it was so late in the day – but the receptionist surprised him by moving his time slot up so that he wouldn’t experience heavy traffic on the way home.
That’s when he first met Cara Bray, an orthotist, prosthetist at Snell. She walked him through what the company could do for him, and all the concerns that Edwin had about being a double amputee slowly began to evaporate. She even went so far as to provide her personal number to Edwin, should he have any questions or concerns, and urged him to reach out.
He knew that he was where he was supposed to be when he decided to go to Snell for treatment. “It’s a decision that [my wife and I] have never regretted,” said Edwin. “And I said, ‘Okay, God, you gave me the best. And I’m so thankful for that.’”
Cara has always encouraged Edwin to create and achieve his goals. He continues to move forward. He’s taken so many steps, tackled so many stairs, and even successfully learned how to drive again.
On top of that – he’s done it all with a smile. “I tried to keep a positive attitude; I don’t guess I’ve ever had a down day,” he said. “But that’s on purpose – because it’s what you make out of it.”
He also tries not to get too ahead of himself. “I just went one step at a time,” he said. “Cara guided me, you know, but I’m doing things now that I never thought that I would.” Edwin’s bond with Cara was strong enough that when she got married recently, she asked Edwin to officiate.
He was delighted and accepted. He remembered some trepidation from those involved in the wedding planning, but Cara set the record straight. Edwin recounted the story: “The wedding planner said, ‘Are you sure he can stand through it?’” And Cara said, ‘Don’t worry about him.’”
These days, Edwin continues to come up with new goals. Right now, he has his sights set on golf. “I’ve got a lot of buddies at church that play golf,” he said. “I’m going to learn how to swing a club.”
Cara has already said she’ll be there to help him find his stride on the greens.