By Melissa Garcia

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – A runner from Boulder is sharing is remarkable journey from tragedy to triumph.

dave mackey Colorado Amputee Runner Moves From Tragedy To Triumph

Dave Mackey (credit: CBS)

Dave Mackey was badly injured in a fall that cost him his leg. He first told his story to CBS4 days after his accident in 2015.

davemackeyrescue 11 Colorado Amputee Runner Moves From Tragedy To Triumph

Members of Rocky Mountain Rescue Group help stabilize Mackey before evacuating him off of Bear Peak. (file photo credit: Bill Wright)

 

Mackey spent time in recovery at Denver Health Medical Center. Now the inspirational role model is running 100 mile ultramarathons.

Doctors at Denver Health performed several surgeries and also got him through a bad infection.

dave mackey 7 Colorado Amputee Runner Moves From Tragedy To Triumph

Dave Mackey (credit: CBS)

In May of 2015, a rock trapped the semi-professional runner after a 50 foot fall down Bear Peak in the foothills west of Boulder. He suffered an open fracture of his left tibia.

runner 4 Colorado Amputee Runner Moves From Tragedy To Triumph

(credit: CBS)

One step at a time, Mackey has returned to pursuing his passion without a leg.

“I don’t have my leg but I’m still doing the same stuff,” Mackey told CBS4’s Melissa Garcia.

Adapting to life with a prosthetic has not been easy.

“It was patience. It was trial and error. It was setbacks. It was like, two steps forwards, one step back,” Mackey explained.

His will and his carbon fiber running blade have powered Mackey’s success.

runner 3 Colorado Amputee Runner Moves From Tragedy To Triumph

(credit: CBS)

He also credits the team at Denver Health, a Level I trauma and research center.

“We are defining the future of orthopedic trauma,” said Dr. Cyril Mauffrey, MD, FACS, FRCS, Denver Health’s Orthopedic Trauma Director.

“Dave Mackey presented with one of the most extreme of a mangled lower extremity,” Dr. Mauffrey said.

After several reconstructions, Mackey decided the best route would be an amputation, which has not stopped him from doing what he loves.

runner 1 Colorado Amputee Runner Moves From Tragedy To Triumph

(credit: CBS)

“That highlights how patients that have this similar injury,” Mauffrey said. There is light at the end of the tunnel. And they can go back to their activities, and even beyond.”

Such is the case for Mackey.

“I knew I could do it,” he said.

Over the summer in Leadville’s epic “Leadman series,” Mackey beat his own record in a 100 mile bike race.

“I put my mind to it and completed it,” he said.

Denver Health trauma surgeons treat injuries like Mackey’s about once a week.

Click below for a link to denver health’s story on Dave Mackey:

http://bit.ly/dhmackey

Melissa Garcia has been reporting for CBS4 News since March 2014. Find her bio here, follow her on Twitter @MelissaGarciaTV, or send your story idea to mkgarcia@cbs.com.

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