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CRAWFORD COUNTY, MO – Mike Evans thought his life was about to take an unexpected twist when he swam for a raft in the Meramec River near Bourbon, Mo this past weekend.  He was cooling off in the water during a float trip when it was time to rejoin the group. 

“I noticed that my leg felt really light and immediately it hit me like, oh-oh that leg slipped off,” said Evans.

Evans said he pushed off the riverbed to begin swimming toward a raft and suspects that’s when his prosthetic separated from his body.  Friends helped search for the lost leg but came up empty.  Some strangers even offered to help.

“Some people thought it was a joke,” said Evans.

Losing a prosthetic is no laughing matter.  Evans said his cost approximately $27,000.  Even with the help of insurance, he said the cost of replacing his prosthetic was more than he could afford.  “There’s no way I could afford 2 leg payments.”

Evans turned to social media for help.  He said the Riverview Ranch campgrounds helped spread word about the loss of his prosthetic.  Word of his predicament also made its way to members of the Missouri State Highway Patrol dive team.  The team was nearby preparing for training exercises.  A member of the team reached out to Evans through social media and asked where he was swimming when he lost his prosthetic.

Evans sent photos his wife’s friend just happened to take of the area where they were swimming.  Those photos showing a few bluffs provided team members all the help they needed to recover Evans’ prosthetic.

A team led by Sgt. Kurt Merseal searched.  Corporal Jason Hurt and Trooper Colby Tierney helped find the prosthetic in 7 feet of murky water.  They notified Evans by sending him a photo of his prosthetic.

“I mean I almost started crying,” said Evans. “I mean my cheeks hurt still just from smiling.”

He wants to thank the dive team for getting involved even though he never asked for their help.  He said they went above and beyond their call of duty.

“It was an unusual situation,” said MSHP Lt. Collin Stosberg.  “It turned out well and we’re certainly grateful for that.”