OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Rain couldn't keep a group of people from walking more than 3 miles across the Ocean-Springs Biloxi Bridge to raise awareness about limb amputation.
"Start at the Ocean Springs side, walk all the way across to the Golden Nugget and back," said Joseph Smith.
Four years ago, Smith didn't think Saturday's trek would be possible. The doctor amputated Smith's leg all the way up to the hip bone after he contracted vibrio, a flesh eating bacteria.
"I went fishing on a Sunday and I got water in my shoe. That was on a Sunday, and Tuesday the doctor told me 'If I don't amputate your leg up to here, I wont be able to save you,'" said Smith. "I was kinda depressed and upset about it, I never thought I could walk again."
After his fourth walk across the bridge, Smith says he is improving.
"It's gotten easier. Only problem I have now is my leg sweating off," said Smith.
Smith hosts the annual walk for the Limbs for Life Foundation, which helps raise money for amputees who may not be able to afford prosthetic.
"It's a great charity there a lot of people who cant afford legs or insurance," said Tim Ozman who made the journey for the first time. "It's very isolating if you don't have the means to get around."
Ozman says he remembers when he first heard about Smith.
"We both had our legs amputated in the same year, so I guess you could say there's a bit of a connection," Ozman said.
Right before the one mile marker, Smith's leg did start to sweat off and he had to throw in the towel a bit early. But, it didn't damper his spirits, or those of others who came out to support the cause.