Man who hasn’t walked in 4 years takes first steps

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)-- Friday was a cold and rainy day in East Tennessee. It wouldn't match up to the sunny beaches of the Bahamas.

"The only thing I've got warm in my closet is my suit coat for church," Darren Pinder, a Bahamas native, joked. The East Tennessee weather wouldn't hurt his spirits, though, because the amputee was learning to walk again at Premier Surgical.

"Miracles do happen," he said. But just five years ago -- Darren, a diabetic, learned he would lose one of life's miracles: the ability to walk.

An infection was spreading through his legs, which left doctors with one option.

"You'll have to lose your leg,' they told me. 'Because if this infection grows, you'll probably die'."

That day Darren, a minister, turned to God. "I began to talk to the Lord, and right there and then, I hear a voice say to me 'you shall not die, but live'."

His prayers were answered by a complete stranger from Knoxville who he met on a Bahamas ferry more than a year ago.

"It was his attitude; his demeanor that captured me," Scott Dossey, the president of BCS, said. He couldn't let Darren suffer the pain of being trapped in a wheelchair, so he flew the Bahamas man to the States, with donated prosthetic legs from a vendor, Fillauer in Chattanooga, on standby.

"I said [to the hotel front desk] 'I'm rolling over here this morning, I'll be walking back this afternoon'." It was proof to Darren that miracles do happen.

He's flying back home Tuesday. Now Scott is encouraged to continue collecting donations to give to other amputees like Darren.