Skydiving can be risky. Just ask skydiver Chris Marckres. The double amputee recently lost a prosthetic (artificial) leg during a jump over Vermont’s Champlain Valley. Now thanks to a keen-eyed local farmer, Marckres has his leg back.
About a week ago, Marckres went for a Saturday jump at Vermont Skydiving Adventures. Marckres and an instructor harnessed together for a tandem jump. Unknown to Marckres, one of his prosthetic legs popped off after he leapt from the plane. Oops.
“I think my adrenaline was so high, and I was just so excited, I didn’t realize I had lost it,” Marckres told reporters.
After both landed safely, Marckres put out the word on social media that he’d lost his leg. He knew he had to try to find the custom-made limb. After all, a replacement would be pricey—about $20,000.
People on Facebook shared Marckres’ plea for help over 1,500 times. Teams began searching a widespread area. Who knew where a leg falling from the sky might land?
Farmer Joe Marszalkowski saw a post on Facebook. The next day, he found the prosthetic in his soybean field. There were a few scratches, but the leg was mostly undamaged.
“You’ve always got to keep an eye out,” says Marszalkowski. He compared the discovery to a needle in a haystack. He was grateful he found the leg and didn’t run it over with a machine.
“Or, God forbid, the combine sucked it up—it would’ve destroyed it,” Marszalkowski says.
The two men met to exchange the leg. Marckres offered a reward, but Marszalkowski declined it. He calls assisting a fellow Vermonter reward enough.
Because of Marszalkowski and both friends and strangers on Facebook, Marckres says losing his leg turned into a positive experience.
So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them. — Matthew 7:12
(Farmer Joe Marszalkowski holds a prosthetic leg on Monday, July 27, 2020. He found the leg in a soybean field on his Vermont farm. Jack Thurston/NECN and NBC10 Boston via AP)