WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Hundreds of people in Wichita laced up their jogging shoes and took part in the annual River Run, an event of the 2016 River Festival.
But, there was one person who grabbed everyone’s attention.
You might recall last year Julie Dombo was shot and critically wounded during a robbery at a cell phone store in Derby. Complications from her wounds left her a quadruple amputee.
Saturday, she conquered the run thanks to help and support from a lot of people.
Julie has taken part in the River Run every year. And, while one might think it would be tough for a quadruple amputee to walk in the race, she was able to keep her tradition alive once again thanks to a big crowd of friends and family.
About 80 people came out Saturday to support Julie so she could take part in the 2016 event.
“I am surrounded by people that have loved and supported me and been there for me when I didn’t even know what was going on,” said Julie. “So I’m really happy to be here today.”
One of those who supported Julie Saturday was one of the officers who pursued and caught the suspect who fled from the shooting last August. Julie calls him her hero, but the officer says she’s a hero, too.
“I can’t imagine losing everything she’s lost and being as strong and courageous as she is,” said Derby Police Officer Larry Hampton.
That was a thought echoed by Hampton’s boss, Derby Police Chief Robert Lee.
“She’s overcome tremendous odds,” said Lee. “It certainly looked very, very grim the day that that shooting occurred, and to see her here today, able to walk in a two mile run is just beyond our wildest expectations.”
The Dombo family says everyone’s been very helpful.
For a brief moment, Julie was able to perform normal day-to-day functions by herself, like taking a sip of water.
Touch Bionics, a provider of upper limb prosthetics, is loaning Julie a pair of hands until her insurance provider can cover the full cost of a permanent set.
“I just hope one day she’ll be able to receive these hands so that I can hold her hand again on a regular basis,” said Julie’s daughter, Amy.
Her husband says their insurance provider does not cover the cost of mechanical hands which cost $266,000.
But, they’re not giving up and hope the insurance company will find a way to cover the cost of new hands for Julie.