Winning the Limitations

By Priscilla Mader

The scars and the deformity on his right leg is the shocking picture of a young man that did not give up. Larry Rodriguez, 35 is now part of the maintenance team of Hawker Beechcraft.

Full of hope and dreams, Larry continues his life overcoming his disability and limitations. His scars are from asphalt, surgeries and infections; result of a running over a stop sign.


Saturday, Dec. 12, 1992 in the afternoon, Larry was driving his motorcycle on Armenia Avenue, Tampa, when a careless driver run over the stop sign, hitting and throwing Larry about 375 feet. away. Before his body touched the ground, he was hit again by another car that pushed him 150 feet more, causing a compound fracture on his right tibia.

“I just remember when the helicopter arrived to take me to the hospital,” said Larry.

He was brought to the Tampa General Hospital and stayed there for 6 months, celebrating Christmas and New Year with the nurses and other patients.

Larry got Osteomylites on his injury due to the germs and bacteria of the asphalt. The infection caused a shortening of his leg and a significant range of motion.

After so many months of treatment for his leg, the doctors decided to amputate it. Larry refused the doctor’s decision and decided to fight for his leg.

He found another doctor, and it was Dr. Herscovicci who finally discovers a way to stop the infection. Larry then had his 16th surgery done to remove all the stainless steal screws, which was placed into his leg.


“I decided that I wouldn’t be anymore in bed, and that I would start to work again and be like anybody else,” said Larry.

With this positive attitude, Larry gave up the $ 420.00 monthly from SSI and decided to run behind the time and money he lost, going back to work.

When his accident happened he was fresh married and his wife pregnant. They went through a lot of financial problems, and all what he received was $13,000.00 from his law suit.

Larry opened his own delivery company and started to work and make money again.


Larry was born in Cuba and immigrated in the United States in 1976 when his family was deported from Cuba due to political reasons.

“We didn’t have anything when we arrived here. My grandfather was against Fidel Castro and we had to leave Cuba. I didn’t speak any English, but since I started to watch the Road Runner and the Coyote my English just started to develop,” said Larry.


“Sometimes I feel disappointed. I used to race bikes, run, and play sports, but since I lost my balance, I lost the chance to do what I love to do. I lost it and I’ll never get it back. The accident didn’t kill me, but it took away my dream to be a bike racer. If I cannot be a racer I got to be a maintenance man. I took control of the problem, won with my limitations, and learned to be happy and in love again with life,” Larry said.


One Response to “Winning the Limitations”

  1. usfadvancedreporting Says:

    There are several typos throughout that kind of take away from the article. Also, I would avoid so many title captions, you should be able to incorporate that as a transition rather than stating the obvious.

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