Hello my name is Ben Castillo, and I have been an amputee for a little over two years. I have come a long way both in my mind as well as physically.
I was working at a place that deals with cattle hides, with my main role getting their skin ready to be processed and shipped to make different products with. On December 17th, 2014 around 3:30am I had an accident at work and had to drive myself to the ER. Things got really bad, and within 24 hours, I was diagnosed with flesh eating bacteria on my leg. The specialist was supposed to perform a micro surgery, where only a chunk of my left leg were going to be cut off, but on the table ready to be operated, things turned for the worse. My kidneys were failing, my liver was shutting down, the infection was in my blood stream, and I was dying, all while still under anesthesia. I woke up with the news of my leg being amputated; there was no preparation for it, it just happened… and it was devastating.
I had the support of my family and friends, but my church definitely helped me to get through the toughest times as the process of recovery was extremely slow. I wanted to run but instead had to learn how to walk again; it was frustrating. I was an independent man that now needed help to even get a glass of water, and with that, I quickly spiralled down a rabbit hole of frustration and depression that was hard to climb out of. Little by little I started to find small ways to become active. Max, my personal trainer, has been helping me for just over a year regaining my strength; not just my muscles but my spiritual and mental strength also. I owe him so much, I can’t put it into words.
I got my Infinite Socket a bit more than a year and half ago, and it changed the game entirely. Before with my standard socket, I had to take it off every two hours in order for me to have some relief and comfort, as it was painful to be on it for long periods of time. Two weeks after receiving my Infinite Socket, I was able to go to Six Flags Magic Mountain (theme park), and even though I was restricted to get into some rides, I had an amazing time. Weeks later I was able to go on a hike for the first time since the accident, something that with the other socket I could only dream of doing. It wasn’t a perfect hike, I was dead tired at the end of the day, but I was a happy man having accomplished something I thought was never going to be possible ever again.
Recently for my birthday I was able to go for another hike to the beach in San Francisco and it was amazing. I am so thankful the Infinite Socket was introduced to my life, because it changed the pool of dreams I thought were at some point out of reach. Now my Infinite Socket looks beat up, and dirty but every little dent or rip is a sign that I’m mobile that I’m active; that I can do things again I thought were long gone. Thanks to the Infinite Socket I am a broken man on the outside but entirely in one piece in soul and spirit.
My mother told me as soon as I came out of the anesthesia from the first surgery, “Son you are more than just a leg!” That has always been with me throughout this journey. I am more than just a leg, I am more than just an amputee, I am more than just a broken man. Amputation does not define who I am at all.