The first thing St. Cecilia’s Church organist Edward “Eddie” Burrows did after receiving his prosthetic left leg and being able to be mobile on his own was get himself something to eat.
“I was hungry and made myself a bowl of cereal,” said Burrows, who is in Tampa and received the prosthetic leg on Friday, July 19, then proceeded to do some walking on the leg with a walker per his therapy.
“It was so painful and swollen, but on Sunday, the pain and swelling started to go down. On Monday I was walking without the walker and getting used to the leg. I’m still walking with a little limp, as I adjust because I have no more ankle,” he said.
“I’m moving all about. I feel awesome. I had a liver transplant and a triple bypass, and recovering from this is a whole different feeling. This is the best feeling. I had to depend on my wife (Anastasia) and children (Lenice, Edward Jr. and Edvardo) and my wife still asks what I want but I have to tell her I got it.”
He’s taken to happily climbing stairs and moving about, getting accustomed to walking with his prosthetic limb.
Burrows was able to be fitted for his prosthetic leg due to fundraising efforts by the musicians of the Archdiocese of Nassau, which hosted a medical benefit concert in support of the St. Cecilia’s church organist.
Prior to the concert, Burrows said it made him feel good to know that his church members and members of the archdiocese were willing to step up to help him.
They raised the $10,000 he needed for the leg.
He arrived in Tampa on the ninth, and went into the doctor’s office on the 10th to be casted. It took a week for the prosthetic leg to be made up. He returned on Friday past to have the leg put on.
In December 2018, the church organist, who has diabetes, had gotten cut on the bottom of his foot and didn’t know. Infection set in, which meant the removal of his five toes. He suffered another infection and got sick again in February 2019 and had to have the left leg amputated below the knee.
After a four-week rehabilitation stint in hospital, he began the process to get a prosthetic leg, but was short on funds and had to return home. The self-employed Burrows also no longer had insurance.
His parish priest Monsignor Simeon Roberts put it to the congregation to have a fundraising effort for Burrows; Father Simm and Francis Richardson, the Catholic Archdiocese’s head organist, decided to do a benefit concert for him. All of the musicians, including Burrows, played in the hopes of raising the $20,000 he needed to cover the prosthesis, the $6,000 for therapy and his living expenses in Tampa for six weeks of therapy.
While the full amount wasn’t realized, the benefit concert raised enough to cover the expense of the prosthetic leg, and he said people are continuing to give donations to help with living expenses while in Tampa. Burrows will have to be in Tampa until August 24, as he has to make return visits to have adjustments made to the prosthesis.
And he’s looking forward to being able to get playing the organ at church again as the church purchased a new organ which he can play without the leg as it has a switch for the base. But he said he missed the leg when he played without the prosthesis, because he kept moving the “stump” thinking the leg was there.