After losing his foot, man thanks first responders for saving his life
David Johncox’s motorcycle was hit by another car, tearing off his left foot
By Claire Aronson
MANATEE, Fla. — David Johncox knows it could have always been worse.
Last Oct. 1, the 63-year-old was riding his motorcycle westbound on Ninth Avenue West when his life changed forever. Johncox’s motorcycle was hit by another car, tearing off his left foot as well as causing a tear in his aorta.
“I have no recall before, during or after the accident,” Johncox said Monday morning. “It could have always been worse. That’s the way I look at it.”
This Memorial Day, Johncox stopped by West Manatee Fire Rescue, 407 67th St. W., to thank the first responders for saving his life nearly eight months ago.
“You guys are heroes to me and I’m sure a lot of other people,” he said. “I can’t thank you enough. You guys are lifesavers.”
During Monday’s reunion with the first responders who Johncox credits with saving his life, Manatee County Emergency Medical Services paramedics filled in the details that Johncox doesn’t remember. Johncox was also able to see the exact ambulance he rode in to Blake Medical Center last fall.
“When we got there, you were laying in the middle of the road,” said Zachary Molnar, a Manatee County paramedic. “You were awake. You were breathing, which is the main thing we look at. You were definitely a serious condition.”
While Johncox, who has a prosthetic leg, will never ride a motorcycle again, he has already returned to playing music gigs and working part-time at Darwin Brewing Company. In March, he even rock climbed in Colorado.
“I’m just lucky to be here,” he said. “This is a moment of gratitude.”
This October, Johncox will become eligible to do training for the Peer Visitor Program, which will allow him and his wife, Roxi, to go visit with other amputees and their caregivers.
“It’s good to see a bad accident had a good, positive result,” said Molnar, who responded to the call with fellow paramedic Kyle Zagrabski.
Now, Johncox looks at life differently.
“I look at life with a different perspective and a different appreciation and every morning when I open my eyes I go, ‘Alright, I get another one,’ ” he said. “It’s life altering, life changing, but it was not life ending. I’m still here.”
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