In 2008, 70-year-old “Boston” Bill Hansbury had recently lost his leg to a staph infection and was learning to live with a prosthetic.
Jake Bainter, who was seven at the time, was about to have his own leg amputated when their paths crossed.
Four years after that meeting, Jake and “Boston” Bill recorded a conversation at StoryCorps.
"Boston" Bill Hansbury started a nonprofit that seeks to raise money to buy prosthetic legs for those who cannot afford them on their own.
Special thanks to Tampa Bay Times Staff Writer Jeff Klinkenberg. To read his article about "Boston" Bill and Jake, click here.
Jake's parents also started a nonprofit to support people whose lives have been affected by limb loss.
Click here for the transcript.
"Boston" Bill Hansbury (BBH): Well that day, I had just regained the ability to ride my bike. And here I am, coming up to a stop sign. I don’t know what happened but I could not get my feet out of the pedals. So I took the bicycle over to the curb, and that’s when the car pulled up.
JB: That was four hours before my amputation. We were driving to the hospital and we saw on the side of the road, a guy with a prosthetic leg. And I remember pulling around up to the curb and meeting you.
BBH: Your mother and father got out. They introduced me to you and explained the situation about what you had gone through, the countless surgeries. And we talked. I remember saying that if I could do it at my age—and I was 70, and you were seven—you were going to do this so fast and so well. And I was trying to give you some hope, because I knew what was coming, having been there. And when we parted, all I could think about was where you were going. And how brave you were in doing it.
JB: Thank you. That day that we met, that will always be implanted in my mind.
BBH: Yeah, I know what you mean. A lot of people think miracles are big things. And they are big things. But they can have very, very small beginnings.