Prosthetic leg that washed ashore returned to rightful owner
KINGSTON, Wash. -- A lost prosthetic leg that washed ashore in Kingston over the weekend has been returned with its rightful owner.
Hannah Listle made a startling discovery along a Kitsap County shoreline on Sunday. It wasn't another severed foot that had washed up, but it was close. She was looking for shells and other treasures along Point No Point beach when she stumbled upon a strange sight --an elaborately decorated prosthetic leg.
Listle posted information about the leg on her Facebook page, and on Monday she learned who it belonged to.
It turns out the leg belongs to Poulsbo's Megan Smith, and on Monday she got it back.
"It was very pleasant, she was wonderful," Listle said, grateful she was able to find the Smith.
Smith's sister saw Listle's Facebook post and heard about the Sunday night KOMO news report on the discovery. She desperately wanted to return the prosthetic to its owner.
"I cried and then I laughed, I was so jittery and so excited I couldn't wait to get it back," Smith said after learning of the discovery.
On Saturday night, Smith and her husband were swimming at Kingston's Point No Point Beach Park. She had been repeatedly swimming out to a rock, climbing it, jumping off, and then swimming back to shore.
"After about the third or fourth time, I got about half way to shore and that's when I realized my leg was gone," said Smith.
That's when panic set in.
"I dove down into the water and I couldn't find it and I looked and I look," she said.
She spent three hours looking for the leg that night, then came back at midnight for low tide. Nothing. The next morning she searched the beach again, but found nothing.
Smith swims with her custom made prosthetic all the time, and this was the first time it had fallen off in the water. She could not afford a new one, and her backup is used only for running and isn't meant for daily use.
When Smith showed up at Listle's house to get her prosthetic back, they bypassed a hand shake and had a long, emotional hug.
"It's like getting your leg back, and it's what I use every day," Smith said.
The meeting was also emotional for Listle.
"I feel good. I think it's really great, hearing her story about the leg and everything like that it was very heart warming to know I was able to get it back to her," she said.
Listle got the satisfaction of making a difference in Smith's life and it earned her a new friend.
"I can't believe how much we have in common and she just lives next door in Poulsbo," she said.