Ken Weimer always was an active guy, both at work and at play. When the owner of Lycoming Valley Homes wasn't looking after and operating his business, he was traveling, camping, riding motorcycles, snowmobiles and four-wheelers, and spending time with his family.
His life changed drastically on May 30, 2011, when he was seriously hurt in a motorcycle crash. Ken survived the accident but lost one of his legs.
"It was so seriously damaged; that's why they had to amputate," said his wife, Donna.
Donna was riding with Ken on the motorcycle the day of the crash just outside Wellsboro on Route 6.
She suffered a leg injury, too, as a result of the crash that occurred when their motorcycle struck another motorcycle that had swerved to miss a vehicle stopping to make a turn.
"What are the chances of that?" Ken said with a smile as he sat in the living room of his home, a refurbished farmhouse outside Hughesville.
He gets around these days on crutches.
Soon, he plans to take advantage of a prosthesis for which he's been fitted.
At 62, he knows he has a lot of living left to do.
"I'm just glad to smell the roses," he said. "There's always somebody worse off than I am."
Ken credits his recovery, successful therapy and the fact that he's still alive to medical professionals.
As a result of the crash Ken lost a lot of blood and nearly died.
"I was told they'd lost me twice," he said.
The couple were transported by helicopter to Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre.
Donna was hospitalized for two weeks after surgery and had a rod placed in her left leg.
Ken had to stay a bit longer.
He underwent not one, but two amputations of the same leg.
"They did the first amputation within the first few days. That was below the knee," he said.
Later, the rest of the leg was cut off.
Then the real work for Ken began. He was transferred to Williamsport Regional Medical Center and started therapy.
Complicating Ken's issues were some vascular problems he developed and some crushed bones.
"He was taken on by Dr. (William) Beltz as a special patient because of the severity of his injuries," Donna said.
Beltz is a Susquehanna Health wound specialist
A whole team of health care professionals, including physical, occupational and recreational therapists and psychologists also attended to Ken's needs.
When he was brought into the hospital, he couldn't lift his head.
"You lose your muscle mass," Ken explained.
He had to be fed intravenously.
Over time, long days without much movement, including walking, rob a person of the ability to perform such simple activities.
It was easy for Ken to lose hope at times, but he was determined to get better.
"They had me doing all kinds of exercises," he said. "So I worked as hard as I could. I did more than I was supposed to do."
By the time he left the hospital after just 17 days, he was able to use a walker.
"I didn't want all my friends and relatives doing stuff for me," he said.
Susquehanna Health rehabilitation liaison Kathy Woltz said he was one of the more committed rehabilitation patients she's seen.
"He did really well because he had a really good outlook and he had his goals," she said. "I'd say he was highly driven to recover."
It was Woltz who assessed his goals and plan of care when he arrived in Williamsport. She noted that he was very ill and anxious about what the future would bring.
However, the support he received from his family and friends went a long way in his successful rehabilitation, she said.
"Patients that have a good support team do even better," she said.
Ken is determined to continue to improve.
He said he's already come a long way, regaining use of his body.
"I went from a wheelchair to a walker and now I'm on crutches. I don't feel 150 percent, and there's stuff I can't do that I want to do," he said.
Early on, it was thought that Ken would not be able to use a prosthesis, due to the severity of his injuries.
In August, however, he started gait therapy for his new artificial limb, which is known as a C-leg prosthesis.
Equipped with state-of-the-art robotic intelligence, the C-leg has a remote control that programs it for walking, running and other functions.
That's great news for Ken, whom his wife described as a very active man.
Ken and Donna are thrilled with the care he has received.
"We have been very fortunate," Donna said. "We've been blessed."