Man who lost legs continues to recover, playing wheelchair basketball

(WMC) - It has been more than a year since a Memphis father of two lost his legs and started his courageous recovery. 

Michael Owen's life was changed in an instant when he was changing a tire on the side of Winchester Road in March 2013. He called a friend to watch out for him while he changed the tire, but a passing car slammed into his friends truck, pinning his legs between the bumper and the ground.

You don't expect to see nobody walk on water. You don't expect to see anybody just split down the middle," Owens said. "But I didn't expect to see the next day either."

Both of Owen's legs were amputated, and since then, he's been working with specialists at Regional Medical Center Rehabilitation Center. 
 
A year and a half later, the 28-year-old is thriving. He learned to walk using prosthetic legs and is playing wheelchair basketball with the Rollin' Grizzlies.  

Twice a week inside the Glenview Gym, the basketball ball court is full of members of the Memphis Rollin' Grizzlies wheelchair basketball league.

"Gun shot wounds, car accidents, freak accidents. It don't matter we're in the same family. A chair is a chair," Owens said.

When WMC Action News 5 met Owens, he was learning to walk again at Regional Medical Center with his therapist Alana Carico by his side.

In November she brought him to Glenview to encourage him to get back on the court he loved before he lost his legs.

"Very proud of him, he's been an asset to the team, they love having him," Carico said.

On the court, it's all about having fun, letting go of stress and feeling normal for a moment, all the while inspiring others to try new things and encourage one another to keep on rolling.

"It makes my job worth it. To see someone at their lowest point when they're having the hardest time accepting what they're going through to this and seeing them happy and smiling and living a normal life," Carico noted. "And just the change is amazing."

The second annual Rollin' Grizzlies v. Regional One Health game is Friday August 29 at 5:30 p.m. at Mississippi Blvd. Christian Church. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children. A concession stand is open during the event and raffle tickets will be sold as well. All proceeds support the Memphis Rollin' Grizzlies basketball team. For details contact Alan Carico at 901-545-6077 or acarico@regionalonehealth.org.