Aurora Theater Shooting survivor takes first steps after amputation

Joshua Nowlan voluntarily amputated his leg
Posted at 10:57 PM, Apr 27, 2018

DENVER -- An Aurora Theater Shooting survivor, who made the difficult decision to amputate his leg after years of excruciating pain, is now taking his first steps toward recovery.

Joshua Nowlan was shot in the arm and the leg in the 2012 movie theater shooting, and recovery has been hell. 

"Last night, I couldn't sleep whatsoever," Nowlan said, walking into Creative Technology Prosthetic's Denver office. "I was so excited that today finally has come that I can put my prosthetic on for the first time."

After doctors amputated his leg in January, he had major complications, including kidney failure, a serious fall and a hematoma that required another emergency surgery.

"I am still completely 100 percent on the side that I am happy, that I did the amputation surgery," Nowlan said, rubbing the stump that is still swollen and healing.

As he took his first steps on his prosthetic, he began to cry.

"It feels so weird, but it feels so right, too, at the same time," he said.

Zach Harvey made the prosthetic and said that eventually, Nowlan will walk without any assistance and with a different prosthetic.

"Right now, we want something a little softer, but as he starts to tolerate pressure, walk faster, and wants to do more activities, then we'll provide him with something a little springier," Harvey said.

Nowlan said it's another piece in the puzzle he is trying to put back together.

"Even though it happened five years ago, he took something from me that will never be put back together," Nowlan said. "And here I am trying to makeshift those puzzle pieces and put them back in."