Military survivor, amputee skydiver to ‘drop in’ to Suffolk

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 30, 2003

Retired Sergeant first class, Special Forces Soldier, and Golden Knight’s skydiver Dana Bowman will skydive into Suffolk and share his incredible story of survival with local healthcare professionals at today at Hanger Prosthetics & Orthotics, 3005 Corporate Lane, Suite 200, Suffolk.

Parachuting in from a plane at noon, Bowman will discuss his heroic triumph over the loss of his legs, including his return to skydiving, and personally meet with area amputees, school children, medical professionals, and other guests.

Bowman wears the world’s first bionic leg and can offer demonstrations, while a certified practitioner can discuss the benefits and technology of the computerized knee.


Email newsletter signup

Please contact above.

Dana Bowman’s story:

He had done it a hundred times. The infamous Diamond Track maneuver was a crowd favorite.

Crisscrossing within a few feet of each other, Dana Bowman and his Golden Knights skydiving partner created an illusion of passing &uot;through&uot; each other while smoke from their suits etched out a diamond shape in the sky.

It was a spectacular display of precision and skill, usually executed flawlessly.

However, during a routine training exercise over Yuma, Arizona, something went terribly wrong.

Bowman and his partner collided mid-air at a combined speed of nearly 300 mph.

Both of Bowman’s legs were severed instantly and the impact claimed the life of his best friend and partner.

Bowman’s left leg was amputated below the knee and his right leg was amputated above the knee.

Soon after the accident, his wife of three months left him and the Army tried to retire him as disabled.

Determined to overcome his disability, Bowman returned to skydive just 188 days after his accident, amazing doctors and fellow parachutists.

Within just nine months, he became the first double amputee to reenlist and remain in active duty in the U.S. Military.

Bowman wears the latest bionic technology, the Hanger Complete System.

The Complete System is comprised of two components, the revolutionary socket called the patented Hanger ComfortFlex Socket System and the world’s first computerized leg.

The Hanger ComfortFlex Socket System increases control, command, and comfort with its anatomically designed channels and grooves that accommodate various muscle, bone, tendon, vascular and nerve areas.

The first microprocessor controlled hydraulic knee, the computerized leg tracks and adjusts to a person’s movements 50 times per second.

The Complete System finally allows amputees to walk without thinking about how to walk.

&uot;It’s not the disability; it’s the ability that counts.&uot;

Bowman has said it a thousand times since that fateful day back in 1994.

Inspiring Americans coast to coast, Bowman proves &uot;it’s the ability&uot; again and again by making more than 60 skydives and delivering more than 100 speeches across the country each year.