One of the more traumatic things someone can go through in life is experiencing the loss of a limb. Particularly, in the case of losing one or both legs, it can be extremely difficult to resume one’s daily activities such as walking and driving. Surprisingly, Jim Mundle, double-amputee, doesn’t quite see things that way. For him, losing his legs gave him back his life.
The trouble for Mundle dates back to 2007, when he noticed a boil that wouldn’t go away. “The infection was in my left foot,” he recalled.
Following a trip to the doctor, it was discovered that he had a growing Staphylococcus infection; a direct result of having Type 1 Diabetes. More commonly known as a ’staph’ infection, it is a bacterial infection that attacks the body, showing up as a boil on the skin or it can become an antibiotic-resistant, flesh-eating infection.
“It was something where I felt like I had the flu,” he added. “Antibiotics just kept it contained.”
And the demands of his important position at Douglas County Living Magazine only added to his poor health. “I would feel good from 8 a.m. until about 3 p.m. and then I would get a high fever.”
Over the next five years, he continued to fight the infection, sometimes seeking out less conventional remedies. “I did things like hyperbaric chambers,” he added. “I did everything I could to save my right leg.”
But after a series of painful surgeries that were hoped to keep his leg intact, he was forced to make a tough decision. “My leg was amputated in November 2013,” said Mundle.
In the months that followed, he worked hard to regain the ability to walk and drive with the use of a prosthetic leg. However, as time passed, the pressure from walking on the assistive device began to cause another unforeseen problem.
“Because the prosthetic had been putting pressure on my left foot, in Oct. 2015, I contracted another staph infection.”
Six weeks into fighting the new infection, Mundle saw minimal results. Again, with no resolution from the antibiotics, he decided to get a second opinion.
“I went to see a specialist in Denver and he told me that I would need to amputate.” A few months later, in December, Mundle lost part of his other leg, again, from the knee down.
During his recovery from his second amputation, a light bulb began flickering in his head. With the bacteria and its effects now removed from his body, he began to refocus his priorities in life.
Unable to quiet the overwhelming feelings that his two new bionic legs gave him, he felt like this was his second chance. “You really truly have a choice everyday,” he smiled. “I had a goal to get my life back.”
The outlook also gave him a new appreciation for his family. “I feel like I have a blessed life with an amazing wife and four wonderful kids,” he remarked. “As far as I’m concerned, life couldn’t be better.”
Along with renewed vigor, Mundle felt a pull to start materializing some of his ‘dreams.’ Over the past few months, that goal has grown to involve the help his family. They have all been focusing their time, money and resources on the construction of one such project; a new, two-level, go kart raceway in Colorado Springs.
Coined Overdrive Raceway, it will feature two Formula One style racetracks fit for Italian-made, electric karts the whole family can enjoy. While kid karts can reach a speed of 25 MPH, the karts for adults will zoom by at 55 MPH.
“I’m blown away when I look at how the raceway was just something I talked about and now it’s almost here,” he continued, “To see it go from a piece of paper to reality is amazing.”
Yet, what really makes Mundle’s idea for the track unique, is that it will be inclusive to individuals who might not otherwise have the chance to easily get behind the wheel. Overdrive will eventually have hand-controlled karts that can accommodate amputees, like him, or those paralyzed from the waist down.
“I have had issues in the past where I have been told I can’t do something,” he said. “The experience here will be different because we can make our raceway available to everyone.”
*MARK YOUR CALENDARS! Soft opening set for July 2, 2016*(For pricing and other information, click on the link below)Overdrive Raceway
196 Spectrum Loop
Colorado Springs, CO 80921