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The Inertia

“To help sharks… it was worth losing a limb just for that alone. And to help other amputees and kids that are dealing with limb loss, I feel really blessed. If you want to do something, don’t worry about what people tell you. If you think you can do it, just do it.” – Mike Coots

Most would be grateful to simply survive. Many would graciously move forward appreciating the small moments that make the day-to-day. Mike Coots? He wanted more. And not only for himself, but for sharks, including the tiger shark that took his leg.

When he lost his limb, he knew life wouldn’t be the same. And he knew he was lucky to be alive — despite any potential struggles with Stockholm syndrome and life adjusted. Yet he also knew he was beyond fortunate to live in a place where prosthetics and acceptance were readily available. In many regions around the world, those who suffer from limb loss aren’t treated so kindly.

So while Mike would go on to be grateful to have survived, and would appreciate the small moments that make the day-to-day, he would additionally strive to make a difference, standing both tall and proud for those who weren’t so fortunate – from amputees to sharks.

Mike Coots is a surfer. Mike Coots is a survivor. Mike Coots is an advocate. Mike Coots is an ICON.

ICON is The Inertia’s new profile series that highlights inspiring individuals making meaningful contributions to the ocean and outdoor culture. Don’t forget to check out ICON: Alex Gray, the inspired story of a young surfer who lost his older brother to drugs, but vowed to carry his hero’s spirit with him, taking his brother’s legacy to the most dangerous waves on earth.


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