Tech Pro With Epilepsy, Bilateral Leg Loss Shares How He’s Moving Forward
Different people deal with life challenges in various ways. While some take time to find their stride, others are immediately driven to move forward. In Roman Leykin’s case, moving forward in his amputee journey required looking for something that would motivate him, and that something is athletics.
Leykin’s limb loss story is linked to a teenage diagnosis of epilepsy. In 2018, he suffered a seizure and fell onto the subway tracks in New York City. A train ran him over when he fell, leaving him with a traumatic brain injury and a bilateral leg amputation.
Leykin was a web developer in Manhattan, but with his brain injury, he could no longer do his job. So, he committed himself to athletics, recently finishing the Gaylord Gauntlet’s 5K obstacle course and the Achilles Hope & Possibility 6K. In an interview with the Stamford Advocate, Leykin declared that he’s going to as many amputee events as possible all over the country and soon all over the world.
Leykin declared that he’s going to as many amputee events as possible all over the country and soon all over the world.
The Gaylord Gauntlet is a charitable obstacle course hosted by Gaylord Specialty Healthcare at their main campus in Wallingford, Connecticut. The 5K event features treks through the mud hills and forest, hurdles over walls and trees, and a slide into a pool. Overall, the race featured 24 obstacles.
Katie Joly, the program manager of the Gaylord Sports Association, noticed Leykin’s drive and ability to turn his life around. According to Joly, regaining that confidence to be who they are is usually difficult for most who have experienced limb loss. This is because Joly has worked with various people who’ve had a stroke, traumatic brain injury, a spinal cord injury, and limb loss, and like Leykin, they all must learn how to live their lives differently.
Regaining that confidence to be who they are again is often a challenge for most people who have experienced limb loss….they all must learn how to live their lives differently.
Meanwhile, the 20th Achilles Hope & Possibility 6K race is known for being fun but grueling. This year, it began on June 26 in New York City’s Central Park, celebrating disability inclusion on the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) signing.
“Relentless forward positive momentum”
Leykin also shares his amputee journey on TikTok and Instagram, where he has nearly 200,000 and almost 11,000 followers, respectively. He shared videos of his first steps on short prosthetic legs, showing how often he fell and got back up.
After the accident, Leykin spent a year at the Burke Rehabilitation Hospital in White Plains, New York, and used a wheelchair until 2021. That was a big year for Leykin, who started walking on short prosthetic legs or “stubbies,” as he likes to call them.
Despite falling numerous times, Leykin picked himself up every time and kept trying. But he found himself walking within 15 or 20 minutes without holding on to something, he told the Stamford Advocate. Although he was shorter with the prosthetic legs, he found freedom of life in the freedom of movement.
Although he was shorter with the prosthetic legs, Leykin found freedom of life in the freedom of movement.
After his stint with the stubbies, Leykin has moved on to longer ‘tech legs,’ allowing him to enjoy the things he used to do, like bowling, golfing, hiking, hockey, rock climbing, and skiing, among other sports.
After learning how to walk on prosthetic legs, Leykin has been truly living out his mantra: “Relentless forward positive momentum.”
Leykin is an inspiration for many who long to regain the confidence to be themselves after limb loss. However, if you or a loved one struggles to regain that confidence, don’t beat yourself up for it. Everyone has a different journey. Take it one day at a time and one step at a time. Be kind to yourself, and eventually, you’ll get there.