The Virginia teen who lost his leg after he stepped on explosive material in Central Park during the Fourth of July weekend is walking again, thanks to donations that allowed him to afford a prosthesis.
“This past week, I returned to school and took my first steps on a prosthetic leg, which all of you have helped me pay for (in addition to other medical bills and recovery expenses),” wrote Connor Golden in a message posted Monday the GoFundMe page his family set up.
The music engineering major at the University of Miami looks happy and high-spirited in a photo showing him walking on crutches and sporting a prosthetic leg.
Golden, 19, was visiting New York from Fairfax County when he stepped on what looked like a rock around 11 a.m. on July 3 -- a rock that ended up setting off a explosive device made from homemade products and packed in a plastic bag. Police believe a “hobbyist” had abandoned his device in the park when it failed to detonate, it was reported.
Golden’s foot was mutilated in the explosion that “sounded like a cannon,” one witness said. The injury forced surgeons to amputate Golden’s leg below the knee.
Now he’s thanking the generous people who helped him get on with his life by donating more than $71,000.
“Friends, family, and compassionate people I have never met — including fellow amputees, New Yorkers, fellow students and alumni, and those having a shared interest in music or scouting — have decided to help. I want everyone to know how much your support means to me,” he wrote.