CHANDLER, AZ — Daniel Aldana is a man who has defied expectations and serves as an inspiration to everyone around him. He works as a lift technician, building custom trucks for Lifted Trucks. It's a strenuous job that requires a lot of heavy lifting.
His co-workers said watching Aldana work pushed them to do better.
Aldana had to undergo an above-knee amputation seven years ago after his motorcycle was hit by a Jeep along the freeway near Chandler.
"I woke up in the hospital. And they told me it was three days later, and I don't remember anything that happened in those three days or even what happened during the accident," said Aldana.
He had to undergo more than 20 surgeries and almost lost his life three times. Recovery was tough. His left leg kept getting infected and kept him sick, Aldana said he himself made the tough call and surprised everyone around him.
"I said, 'let's cut it off, I don't need it,'" said Aldana.
The loss of his leg has not slowed Aldana down. While he had to learn how to walk and do basic things all over again, the grueling years of physical therapy paid off.
Aldana said he was not going to let the loss of his leg come in the way of his dreams of building custom trucks. So, he applied for a lift technician job at Lifted Trucks.
Co-workers said when Aldana came in for the interview, they had no idea he was an amputee because he was wearing pants. All they saw was a tall man who looked strong enough to do the job. Since he got hired, he has continued to amaze his colleagues with his talent, determination, and passion.
"He doesn't ask for help, which is part of the reason why we wanted to help because he's not asking for it," said Mike Halland, the marketing manager for Lifted Trucks who made a video about Aldana to jumpstart a fundraiser to buy him a brand-new prosthetic leg.
Colleagues want to gift Aldana with this prosthetic leg because they tell ABC15 it is far superior to the one he has right now, and it would enable him to do some of the things he loved doing before his accident.
"He'll be able to run, he'll be able to skateboard, snowboard, and ride his bike," said Halland.
The prosthetic leg will cost about $10,000. The company is raising money for the device and are almost halfway to their goal.
Aldana said he was shocked and touched by this kind gesture from his friends.
"I'm shocked, just shocked."
He described his journey as a tough one, but through that hardship, he has come to appreciate life and the people around him even more.