The Proof

Condition: Unilateral above-knee amputee

Experience: In October 2012, Cor’Rales was doing his homework and watching ESPN when he stopped to watch a story about a young man named Jacob. Jacob, like Cor’Rales, was an aspiring high school athlete in Virginia. Following a freak accident during football practice, Jacob had to have his right leg amputated, but found a way to stay in the game. As Cor’Rales watched his story, he thought, “Wow, a kid from Virginia!”… “I looked up to him.” A few weeks later, Cor’Rales’s life took an abrupt turn that put him on the same playing field as Jacob.

That Thanksgiving, Cor’Rales, his mother, and his 10-year-old brother were shot by his mother’s ex-boyfriend after a domestic argument turned into unimaginable violence. After Cor’Rales woke up in the hospital and learned everyone had miraculously survived, he focused on getting better. He underwent ten surgeries, including the one on December 4, in which his left leg was amputated. On Christmas Day, Cor’Rales looked up to see Jacob walking into the hospital to meet him. “I couldn’t tell he was an amputee. I told him I wanted to be walking around like he was.” Jacob introduced Cor’Rales to the team they would share: David Lawrence and the Gait Center therapists. “After that, I knew I would be OK.” Within two weeks of receiving his prosthetic, Cor’Rales was walking again—then running. Soon, David had Cor’Rales running football drills with Jacob. “I was catching the ball. Jacob was really good!”

Cor’Rales’s plans were to earn a football scholarship to pay for college. “I realized maybe I needed a plan B and decided on physical therapy. I love sports, and physical therapy is a lot like being a coach.” Today, Cor’Rales is well on his way.

Personal interests: Football, sports.

“I was ready to go back to living the life I lived at first. So we started working…[towards that]”