GLOBE, AZ — One week turned into one year for a Globe man, desperate for a pair of shoes.
They were supposed to help him walk better.
His left leg was amputated in 2018 after complications from Type 2 Diabetes and he was still getting used to his new prosthetic. Instead, he was caught in a battle to get his hard-earned money back.
"You can only talk to your dogs so much!" explains Gilbert Trujillo.
Losing his leg also meant losing his freedom.
"I feel so inactive. It's very depressing."
Gilbert spends most days cooped up with his dogs inside his home in Globe. After not just one, but two amputation procedures, Gilbert thought he was in the clear, but his problems were just beginning.
"When he fitted me with my new prosthetic, there was no more pain, but the balance was an issue."
But instead of following up with his regular prosthetist, Gilbert came across Adam Ochoa, or "Adam O," as he goes by, the founder of Game Changer Feet.
Gilbert saw Adam O's ads and success stories and says he wanted to be one of them, so when he met Adam O in his Scottsdale workshop, Gilbert, who's on a fixed income, says he paid Adam $200 for a special pair of shoes to improve his balance.
"I was desperate," explains Gilbert. "I wrote him a check and he said, 'your shoes will be ready in a week.'"
But after almost a year, Gilbert still had no shoes.
"He raised my hopes and then let me down."
Gilbert complained to the Better Business Bureau, which gives Game Changer Feet a C+.
He posted on Facebook, sent text messages, even tried to reason with Adam O over the phone.
"I said, 'if you can't deliver the shoes, can you give me a refund?' And then he says, 'OK, I'll send you a check,' and then I'd wait and wait and I still haven't received the check."
So we went looking for answers, and looking for Adam O, stopping by his workshop in Scottsdale, but Adam O was nowhere to be found.
And when we called, it just kept ringing.
But in a voicemail Adam O left us in September, he claimed Gilbert suffers from memory loss, saying the $200 Gilbert gave him was actually a donation. Adam O claims he even donated a prosthetic foot to Gilbert worth $16,000 and says he donates three feet to other people in need every week.
"I got no shoes and no foot. It's very disheartening," explains Gilbert.
We looked at a copy of the canceled check. In the memo line, it says Gilbert's shoe size, 10 and 1/2. Nowhere on the check does it say, 'donation.'"
"It's pathetic. It really is."
But we stayed on it and persisted.
And finally, results.
Just last week, after months of back and forth, a surprise text message from Adam O came through. It was a video of him at a post office, sending Gilbert his shoes.
A closer look at the shipping label showed he had the phrase, "Ungrateful Man, LLC," written above Gilbert's name.
As of November 26th, Gilbert still hadn't received the shoes. They are presumably still in the mail. We'll follow up with Gilbert to make sure he gets them.
The question now is - why would it take a year to get someone a pair of shoes? Adam O is refusing to sit down with us for an interview, but did say in a text message that the shoes come from China and it took two years to make six pairs.
READ PART TWO: Arizona amputee waiting for help, searching for answers
READ PART THREE: Can anyone make prosthetics in Arizona?