Limbs for Life Bridge Walk

Joseph Smith of Ocean Springs lost his leg to vibrio, but is stepping up when it comes to helping others who have lost their limbs. News 25’s Laurene Callander has the details on a weekend walk and fundraiser to help all amputees in need.
Joseph Smith’s life took a turn for the worse back in the summer of 2012. He lost his right leg to vibrio, the flesh eating bacteria living in some patches of the Gulf Coast water. The irony of it all, the Ocean Springs resident never went in the water, he just splashed some water on his shoe while fishing in the Gulf. “It made a whole new world for me. You just have to look at things a little bit different. It seems like I went from a vibrant young fella to an old man overnight. With the help of the prosthetic and just work ethic, I’m starting to recover and get back to normal, as close to normalcy as I can possibly get,” said Smith.
At the time, he was taking medicine that lowered his immune system, making him vulnerable to the bacteria.
Smith says the prosthetic leg gave him a feeling of self-sufficiency, a feeling he wants everyone with lost limbs to feel. This is what led to the idea for the Limbs for Life bridge walk.
The Limbs for Life walk starts at the steps of the Highway 90 bridge connecting Ocean Springs to Biloxi. Joe says don’t worry if you can’t make it the full two miles and back, they’re going to have rides available.
Rusty Little, a vibrio victim, said, “There are a lot of people that can’t afford the kind of care that needs to be done when you have to have a prosthetic. Because of that, that’s why we sponsor and want to participate so we can help raise money for less fortunate people.”
Rusty Little met Joe at the hospital. He contracted the vibrio bacteria around the same time as Joe back in 2012. Doctors were able to save Rusty’s leg. To this day, he is still close friends with Joe. They both feel it is critical to have a positive outlook on life, no matter the circumstance. “If I can do anything to help anybody through my misery, it makes it all worthwhile, you know what I mean,” said Smith, “It just makes it like there’s something to it, that it’s not for naught.”
The bridge walk starts at 5 p.m. on Saturday where you can donate or participate. If you can’t make it to the fundraiser, you can still donate online at

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