He Lost Both His Legs As An Infant. But He Never Lost His Heart.

Truly inspirational.

Joe Martel III is a 14-year-old freshmen at Beggs High School in Oklahoma. He plays defensive end on his high school's football team

There is something unique about Martel.


He is playing football as a double amputee.

Martel was born without shin bones, a rare abnormality known as tibia hemimelia. At 18 months, he lost portions of both his legs.

"I was born without a tibia in my bones," Martel told MaxPreps. "I had my legs and feet. If they wouldn't have amputated my legs, I wouldn't have been able to play football."

As a child, Martel used drink koozies as legs so that he could run across the living room like an athlete.

"From then on, we knew that he was going to be able to participate in sports and do other things," his father Joe Martel Jr. said to MaxPreps.

Martel played peewee football as a running back and scored a touchdown.

Martel received prosthetic legs before playing high school football. He is the first double amputee to play football at the junior varsity level in Oklahoma.

His incredible story is a constant source of inspiration for his teammates.

"When one of our kids feels like they're having a bad day, they look over at Joe and see that smile, see his work ethic. Man, it really motivates and inspires our kids," his Head Coach Lee Blankenship said to MaxPreps.

Watch the entire video of Martel’s amazing story:

(H/T: MaxPreps)


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