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Naples veteran creates #OneArmPillowChallenge to support SWFL amputees

One Naples veteran is inspiring people to show support for amputees, using a pillow and a pillowcase. The method is transforming the lives of people who lost a limb.

Three, two, one – go!

It is a race to put on a pillowcase. But you can only use one hand. It is a challenge created by Bob Ayres.

People doing the #onearmpillowchallenge. (Credit: WINK News)
People doing the #onearmpillowchallenge. (Credit: WINK News)

“What we have going on here is the Miracle Limbs Courage in Motion Pillow Challenge,” Ayres said. It is to help others through his ‘Miracle Limbs Courage in Motion’ non-profit.

“Sometimes they don’t have funds for prosthetic and we would take care of that,” Ayres said. “We take care of folks that can not go back to work. We pay for the or monthly mortgage, food, gas, transportation to their appointments.”

Ayres knows the struggles of adjusting to life with a new limb. Ayres lost his leg after he was hit by a car while changing a flat tire.

“I was scared and I didn’t know what was happening,” Ayres said.

Now, he is handing people a pillowcase. Then ask them to help him raise awareness and support for fellow amputees – some of whom may not be able to afford a new limb without his assistance.

Wesley Greener, who works at Orthotic Prosthetic Center, said Ayres is a great inspiration.

“He’ll come and he’ll see the patients with us,” Greener said. “He’ll come to appointments; sometimes he’ll drive them to the appointments, just to try and make them feel like they’re not alone in the process.

“It’s great to see that we can help people the way that we can,” he added, “and Bob’s really been instrumental in it.”

Ayres hopes his hashtag, #onearmpillowchallenge, goes viral. He encourages everyone to post a video of themselves trying to put a pillowcase on with the hashtag, all to inspire people to believe that disabled does not mean incapable.

“To put amputees into devices, prosthetics,” Ayres said, “that’s the closest to the level of activity that they were doing before.”

Reporter:Melinda Lee
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