Saturday, August 23, 2008

Later, Gator...But My Arm? He Ate 'er.
So Make Me a New One Like the Terminator!

This weekend's weirdest news story has to be the one about the kid in Louisiana who lost his arm to an alligator a few weeks ago:
One minute, Devin Funck was a typical kid living a typical life in suburban Slidell, spending a lazy summer afternoon swimming with four friends in a lake near his home. The next minute, he was being dragged by his arm through the waters of Crystal Lake, fighting a 500-pound alligator named Big Joe with all the tenacity a 12-year-old boy could muster.

"It was Godzilla, " he would recall of the monster that ripped off and swallowed his left arm in the July 30 attack.

By the day's end, doctors at Ochsner Medical Center broke the news to Devin and his parents that they could not reattach his arm, which authorities had retrieved after hunting down the alligator and killing it.

Devin's reaction was decisive: "Get me a robot arm that looks like the Terminator."
That's the spirit, Devin. He's already getting dressed and bathing by himself again, while shaking off that "phantom pain" that amputees sometimes feel.

More about Devin, including a video, can be found at the link above. Sure, you could question the choices he and his friends made which led to the unfortunate encounter (throwing sticks at the gator while it was in the water? Devin getting in the water to track the gator when it went ashore?), but you can't question his perseverance since then.

In the meantime, Devin will have some bigtime medical bills, and he'll need new prosthetic arms every year while he's still growing (at one upcoming fundraiser, he'll receive the stuffed head of the gator itself). More info on the fund can be found at the bottom of the linked story, or by visiting this MySpace page.

Hat tip: Althouse, whose commenters are, by and large, being much nicer to Devin than the ones at the link. Sure, he was a little reckless...but calling a kid "stupid" because he had an unfortunate run-in with nature? Me, I like his spunk. Hang in there, Devin!

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