By Rebecca Drew
THIS young man suffered a horrific childhood accident which saw him lose his hand and left three-quarters of his body covered in third-degree burns yet can now deadlift more than twenty-three stone in weight.
Diego Hernandéz (24) from New York City, USA, was electrocuted by high voltage cable at just 10-years-old when he was growing up in the Dominican Republic. The terrifying event put him in a coma for six months and then in intensive care for another six months and left him having to learn how to walk again.
Incredible video footage and pictures show Diego who lost his left hand and only has limited use of his right, performing impressive deadlifts, push ups and bench presses.
“When I was ten-years-old, I was electrocuted by a high voltage cable. I have third degree burns throughout seventy-five-percent of my body. I was in a coma for six months and in intensive care for six more,” he said.
“I had to adapt and learn how to walk again, I lost count as to how many surgeries have been done on me and looking back at it now I don’t know how a ten-year-old kid could withstand all of this.
“Living without a hand has been pretty tough but not just the hand I’m missing but my right hand was damaged as well. I’m not able to open it so it is twice as hard.
“Trying to find jobs is hard, I feel like I’m more than capable of doing anything anyone else can do but when I go out and try to get a job they say they will call me but never do, I think it has something to do with my condition.
“My accident has affected my life because I pretty much have to adapt quickly doing normal things like riding a bike, playing sports and video games. My family and friends have helped me feel normal because they don’t shame me or treat me differently just because I’m missing a hand.
“The start was tough enough because there were a lot of exercises I couldn’t do. I found ways to adapt so I can incorporate more exercises into my routine. Right now, I have a prosthetic arm that allows me to do a lot more and I’m pretty happy with everything so far.”
Diego can deadlift an impressive 152kg, squat with 142kg and bench press 79kg, he wants to be an inspiration for all people.
“My message to anyone that reads this is to find time to do whatever makes you happy in life,” he said.
“Life’s too short, whatever it is that makes you happy go out and do it whether it is the fitness like me or dancing or maybe you enjoy film making.
“Life is hard enough so why not do something that brings you joy.
“I don’t only want to be an inspiration to amputees like me but to everyone. If I can do it, why can’t you. My goal is to be an influence to people and make them get up and actually do something.
“I’ve been through a lot in life a lot of struggles with depression, you name it and am still strong enough to get back up and if I fall again, I will still fight.
“Right now, I’m going through a period of my life where I don’t have enough money to get through the month or to buy food.
“My dreams are to get a sponsor one day and to let the struggle be over but until that day I will keep pushing and working hard.”
For more information see www.instagram.com/onehandking