Soldier from Santa Fe forced to amputate own leg after training exercise gone wrong | KOB 4

Soldier from Santa Fe forced to amputate own leg after training exercise gone wrong

Patrick Hayes
October 12, 2018 10:52 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – An Army specialist from New Mexico is in the hospital after amputating his own leg during a training exercise gone wrong.


Ezra Maes, 20, graduated from Santa Fe High School and joined the military.

“I went to the recruiter’s office, took the ASVAB, which is their competency test, and I scored really well," he said. "I got some job offers I really, really liked."

After basic training, Maes was stationed at Fort Hood in Texas and deployed to Poland.

According to the Army Times, “Their M1A2 Abrams tank ran into an embankment during an exercise at Multinational Training Area Lest, according to a release from Operation Atlantic Resolve.”

Maes told KOB the tank’s turret took off most of his leg during the crash, but he had to complete the amputation in order to survive.

“After pushing on it and pushing on it with my hands, I wiggled myself enough free so I could get my leg up there and just sat on the floor and kept pushing and yanking and pushing and pulling," Maes said. "That's when it finally gave off—just the rest of it."

In addition to losing his leg, Maes broke his left leg and shoulder, and fractured his pelvis in five different areas.

He’s currently going through rehab and will undergo a process called osseointegration to get his prosthetic leg.

Maes said he doesn’t know what his next move will be or if it will include the Army. However, he doesn’t a have a new perspective on life.

"Life is extremely precious. It's the greatest gift you can have, and, in one instant, even the slightest overlooking of something can really change a life in a huge," he said. "Not to say it's a bad one for this one but I got super lucky."

Maes’s family created a GoFundMe page to help with some of the family’s expenses like traveling to Texas to help take care of him.


Patrick Hayes

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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