John Griffis has an obstacle course of challenges ahead of him. As a 52-year-old amputee, John believes he has what it takes to make it onto the hit show, “American Ninja Warrior,” where competitors attempt to complete challenging obstacle courses without falling off in the quest of winning the grand prize of $1M. But before Griffis can make a submission video, he must first train his body to use his prosthetic device.
Griffis is a long-term diabetic with peripheral artery disease. After trying to save his right leg for a year-and-a-half and falling into a sedentary lifestyle, he chose to take the first step towards gaining his independence.
In October 2015, Griffis’ right leg was amputated below the knee. After a few days of physical therapy, his wife Kerry suggested they try HealthSouth Harmarville Rehabilitation Hospital and he thought, “What can we lose?” Upon arriving at HealthSouth Harmarville Griffis soon found he had more than his mobility to gain.
“The people are all fantastic,” said Griffis. “Anytime they’ve been tough on me, it was for my benefit. Anytime I had to push through discomfort, it was for my benefit. I’ve never experienced anything like HealthSouth Harmarville’s hospital setting and the level of care.”
Having completed his prosthetic gait training, Griffis says his goal is getting to the next level—cutting his grass again with a push mower. This will not only build strength and endurance, but will prepare Griffis to get back into the gym so he can build upper and lower body strength and grip strength.
“You can look at me and say it’s going to be a long road,” said Griffis. “I’ll be the oldest person on the show but I’m going to be there.”