The End Goal is that KEN HILDEBRAND keeps on walking! VIDEO IS POSTED BELOW...
THANK YOU to CTV News Lethbridge for your story on Sep 7, 2021. https://calgary.ctvnews.ca/he-s-an-inspiration-alberta-man-who-cheated-death-needs-new-prosthetic-leg-1.5576526
THANK YOU so much to Global TV Lethbridge for the story you ran Sep 3rd. https://globalnews.ca/news/8166178/alberta-man-survived-atv-prosthetic-leg/
A HUGE THANK YOU TO Shootin The Breeze publication for your article September 1 2021 Amazing and you can feel the heart in the story Thanks Jenaya Launstein Community Reporter
DOCTOR tells Ken as a child after 23 surgeries he won't walk again...
KEN Keeps walking.
POLIO: Ken, you are not supposed to be walking.
KEN: "Sorry about that"
DOCTOR: "You have polio. You may be paralyzed for life."
KEN: "I ain't got time to be paralyzed." I took my leg braces off and I am going to do what normal people do.
Many people say if they won a $100,000 they would go on a trip around the world or buy a new home.
Not Ken Hildebrand, he would buy a leg!
Ken was diagnosed with Polio at the age of 8 months. He spent 18 months of his life inside an iron lung and spent his childhood up to age 12 in a Children’s Hospital. He underwent 23 operations from the age of 6 to the age of 12. His parents were told he would never walk. He went on to marry his lovely Lillian, together they raised a family of 4 and also fostered 9 children.
Ken became a Paramedic and worked with the St. John’s Ambulance for 18 ½ years, becoming a Supertendant.
• Ken volunteered with Search & Rescue for 19 years in the Crowsnest Pass, AB.
• He was trained in mine rescue and many are alive today, because of Ken.
• Pulling 3 people out of a burning building, provided Ken with an award from the Governor General.
During his time of saving the lives of others, there are many tales of success, helping others stay alive and go on to live their lives, because of Ken. Yet, he remains humble, never asking for anything.
In 2008, while teaching 1st Aid at Keyano College in Fort McMurray, he paid a visit to his property in the Crowsnest Pass, to see if he could help ranchers with the problem of wolves preying on cattle. 130 kilometres southwest of Calgary, on Jan. 8 Ken was riding on his quad when suddenly it rolled after hitting a rock and trapped him underneath.
A paramedic used to saving the lives of others, now lay crushed underneath his quad for the next 4 days, unable to save himself. For close to 96 hours, he survived hypothermia, frostbite, dehydration and a crushed leg.
No water, No food, no snow close by and nothing but dirt around him. He pulled some surveyor's tape through his teeth to get a little bit of the morning frost that dropped onto it.
His faith and determination not to die, kept him alive until he was rescued on that 4th day by a passing hiker. It's amazing that he's alive.
DEATH: You’ll be coming with me now
KEN: not today
You can watch the documentary called “Crushed and Alone” which was aired Feb 5, 2010 on the Discovery Channel. Witness the extraordinary story of an ordinary man who found himself in a life and death survival situation.
This was also broadcast as “I Shouldn't Be Alive” presenting the raw danger Ken faced, showing the physical and mental battle he had to overcome in his effort to stay alive.
After being rescued, lying in hospital, he was told they must now amputate his crushed leg. They did, but came back with the same news again. Amputated more. Then yet again, they returned to tell him that they must now amputate all the way up above his knee. Gangrene set in each time. In order to save Ken’s life, they removed his good leg all the way up past his knee. Now he literally has no good leg to stand on.
His employment then came to an end as a Paramedic. Ken did not let that stop his determination to continue trying to earn his way. He now works part time, teaching the Province of Alberta’s Standard Trapping Course. He is exposed to wet, dirt, cold and all kinds of inclement weather in the course of this part time income.
Adding to the laundry list of close calls and death defying incidents, Hildebrand was also in a van that was struck by lightning back in 2004.
Tragedy came knocking on his door yet again, when his lovely Lillian died of lung cancer in 2015. He was now alone.
In spite of the tragedies life has handed him he still gives of his time and energy, helping others wherever he can.
• He volunteers on a Board of Directors, he teaches workshops, he works closely with First Nation’s, he volunteers with NODA (No one Dies Alone). He sits with people who have no one else to be with them during their last hours of life.
On speaking with his prosethist, his words to me were “Ken is a very unique and fantastic human being, truly a great one, one of the most deserving people I’ve ever met. Many amputees have one good leg, Ken has no good leg to stand on. If you are going to do fundraising, I will donate my cost, my labour and time to help you”
He also went on to say, "the only way to keep Ken safe was to get him this X3 leg or a wheelchair, and a wheelchair is NOT an option for this man. If there is one guy who deserves this leg, it’s Ken Hildebrand”
This man literally has been taking two steps forward one step back his whole life. The current prosthetic knee is in a state of disrepair. Ken has fallen 8 times in the last month. Injuring himself badly. It is unable to be repaired and out of warranty.
The new leg comes with a hefty price tag. The Ottobock Genium X3 is a programmable prosthetic with motorized knee and ankle joints. It will allow Ken to walk with confidence and independence. This will give Ken long-term health benefits. He can focus on the important things in life, rather than having to think about every step he takes, that can cause a serious accident and injury to his body.
He would just like to have a normal, functioning body part to live his life. Play with his grandkids, get in and out of his vehicle, enter a building, use the washroom without fear of falling down. The X3 Leg will give Ken just that.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
An Ottobock Genium X3 prosthetic leg come with a price tag of $85,413.55 quoted Aug 17, 2021 from his clinic in a written quote. The Alberta Health Services will cover $6,000, with the remaining fee of $79,413.55 being the amount we are fund raising.
We welcome your donation to this fund, no matter how much. Every dollar is appreciated. Thank you for reading this lengthy story. We felt providing you some back story will inspire you to help make this new leg a reality for Ken.
Funds will be transferred to the Lethbridge Orthotic-Prosthetic Services Ltd when we have the amount needed.
Alternatively you can donate to the fund through the ATA and you can visit www.albertatrappers.com for contact info.
There is a holding fund set up there for Ken’s fundraiser. Several private donations have come via this method.
Ken started his life fighting, determined not to give up. His grit is beyond belief. He does not know the meaning of QUIT! Ken is a testimony of the human drive to overcome adversity.
DonationsSee top donations
- Fort Assiniboine Trapping Local
- Crowsnest Community Christian Centre
- Michael & Ilene Lane
- Robin Wright & Kevin Linstead
- Blairmore Lions Club
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