How Edgard John Augustin Built Bionic Body After Losing Both Legs
After a tragic accident, 4-year-old Edgard John Augustin woke up to his mother’s horrified screaming and looked down to see that both of his legs were missing from the knees down. His older brother who was seated next to him was also missing a leg, injuries caused from railing that pierced the back window after their mother lost control driving down the highway. All three members of the Augustin family survived the tragic accident, and Edgard lives to share the story of how he built his motivational brand Bionic Body and became a bodybuilder with two prosthetic legs.
Edgard spent his first year after the accident at a center in Paris that specializes in rehabilitation for veterans and amputees. The 4-year-old spent a year there being taught to walk, first on crutches, then on his prostheses alone. Prosthetic legs and feet don’t provide the same kind of balance as normal rotating ankles, so he learned from a very young age how to use his upper body as his main source of balance due to the lack of stability in his legs.
Edgard moved back home a year later to French Guiana, a country in South America after he was released from rehabilitation. He suffered through years of teasing about his legs from peers in school and his mother also suffered through guilt for most of her life after being the driver in an accident that left her both her sons handicapped, although she wasn’t at fault. Surviving the accident at such a young age enabled Edgard to view his handicaps as a way of life, something a teenager or adult in his situation may not have coped with as well. Edgard was fortunate to never go through depression as a result of his accident and handicap, but he did miss his love for running when returning home and to school.
After finishing high school at home in French Guiana, Edgard went to France to work on earning a BTS, a national French diploma for higher education, and it was there that he discovered a love for the gym. At first, exercise was never about looking like a ripped bodybuilder; working out was simply a way to blow off steam and feel good in body and mind through stressful exam periods in school. However, one unexpected opportunity led him to a motivational career as a very successful handicapped, wheelchair-division bodybuilder.
Edgard had always preferred that his handicap be kept a private matter, wearing pants to cover his prostheses so that only his close family and friends were aware of it. Several years after starting training he contacted a photographer, on a recommendation from a friend, who has been looking for an athlete in top physique to shoot. The photographer was inspired to shoot a series of photos around Edgard’s handicap, to which Edgard graciously agreed. The shoot included pictures of Edgard in sprinting and standing positions, wearing shorts with nothing to cover his prosthetic legs. The photographer shared his photos of Edgard with the Facebook community, and Edgard was shocked by the overwhelming positivity and praise he received. He used the kind comments to inspire others struggling with similar physical handicaps and thought up the name “Bionic Body” to create his motivational brand, posting pictures of his daily life and workouts with his prosthetic legs on display.
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