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Local man does the unthinkable -- opts to have his leg amputated

Getting around isn't easy for Jon Jones because of his awkward gait. It may seem hard to believe, but Jones wants his right leg removed in a procedure called elective amputation. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

Getting around isn't easy for Jon Jones because of his awkward gait.

"August of 1996, I was in a car accident and suffered a spinal cord injury," Jones recalled.

For years, his right leg has been more of a painful hindrance than a help.

The Asheville artist, who is constantly creative, has taken it to the next level with a "cut here" tattoo.

It may seem hard to believe, but Jones wants his right leg removed in a procedure called elective amputation. It's becoming more and more common in the United States among people with improperly functioning limbs.

Jones said it is not a decision to be made lightly.

"I've spent over a year talking to my physical therapists and then my orthotics people," he said.

"He's a unique patient with unique presentations," said Jeremy Migner, a prosthetist with CarePartners Ordthodics and Prosthetics. "So, he's giving us an opportunity to think outside the box and come up with really creative solutions."

After surgery, Jones is at CarePartners Orthodics and Prosthetics in Asheville for a fitting,

"It's been a pretty quick recovery," he said. "It's only been four and a half weeks and I'm bearing weight on it."

The goal is to be less dependent on his wheelchair he constantly tweaks and repairs at his art studio. Jones is convinced he will move better on ever-evolving technology than he ever did on his natural leg.

"If I could run again, that's the ultimate goal. And that's shooting for the stars," Jones laughed. "But, if I get the moon and I get to hike through the woods, (then) I'll be extremely happy with that."

"I see Jon being someone who has defied all the odds in his recovery," Migner added.

And, Jones will continue to in his new life as an elective amputee, advocating for the procedure as well as the disabled as a whole.

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