Local veteran recovers from leg amputation after being injured in IED explosion

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WILKESBORO, N.C. – Veteran Chance Cleary of Wilkes County is recovering from a serious surgery.

Chance Cleary was injured in a 2012 IED explosion while serving in Afghanistan. Because of ongoing health complications from that explosion, Cleary had part of his right leg amputated in January.

One month after the operation, Cleary says his recovery is going well.

“Thankful, you know?” Cleary said. “Thankful to still be able to share my story with people. Making a difference in some peoples’ heart.”

Cleary is staying in Maryland as he recovers from his surgery with the help of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. He anticipates the recovery process could about eight months.

"Hopefully I'll be getting my stitches out soon. And after that, I go back to the doctor and he'll say, yes, you can bear weight. And then they’ll cast me for a prosthetic. And then from there I'll start doing physical therapy with my prosthetic," Cleary said.

Cleary, who is now 23 years old, decided to make a weekend trip home to see his family and friends. FOX8 caught up with him at a local restaurant in his Wilkesboro community.

“I’ve really learned patience is a virtue,” Cleary said. “It takes me a lot longer to do things. But I’m thankful.”

He's looking forward to his birthday in March.