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NC Groups Help Land Mine Victim Regain Mobility

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RALEIGH — Colonel Igor Snitco is a proud man. His friends say he is a mixture of courage and heart. The retired colonel, who spent most of his life serving the Moldavian army, lost both legs in a land mine explosion about eight years ago.

"It was hard to learn to walk and very painful," he says, have had to rely on out-of-date, ill-fitting prosthetics that were often too painful to use.

Snitco traveled hundreds of miles to North Carolina to be fitted with customized, prosthetic limbs. The colonel compared his first steps with his new legs to some other famous first steps -- those of Neil Armstrong on the moon.

The people who fitted Snitco with his new legs say his reaction made all of their hard work worthwhile.

At first, each step is a struggle -- a challenge simply to maintain balance. For Snitco, this is only the beginning of the journey.

Snitco received his new legs free of charge. Several people pitched in to help Colonel Snitco, including the North Carolina National Guard, Wake Med and Hanger Prosthetic and Orthotics.

The colonel heads back to Moldova on Sunday. In the future, he says he hopes to find a way to help other victims of land mines.


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