Local police chief relearning basic skills after losing arm in fireworks accident

Local police chief relearning basic skills after losing arm in fireworks accident

The Leechburg police chief is relearning how to do basic things, such as opening jars, putting on clothes, and other tasks many people take for granted. That's because he lost his arm in a fireworks accident over the summer.

Chief Mike Diebold invited Channel 11's Amy Marcinkiewicz into his home, where he used his good hand to feed his baby boy. The baby, now six months old, is one of the biggest reasons Mike survived the accident over the summer.

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"If it wasn't for Danielle, Gracie and that baby I don't think I would have lived. That was my only thought," said Diebold.

The accident blew off Diebold's left arm below his elbow. Over the last four months, he's gone through therapy, but he admits the world is very different with just one arm.


"Nobody says, 'Open this peanut butter jar. Open this grocery bag. Look at this device for twist tops. Lean in, twist. It's that simple. Makes life so much better,'" said Diebold.

Diebold's made a second home for himself at Union Orthotics and Prosthetics in Lawrenceville. He invited Channel 11 along as experts fitted him for a stronger, more rugged arm. He said he wants the best possible arm, because his goal is to get back to work.

Back at home, Diebold doesn't mind acting as "Mr. Mom" and is trying new things every day. He said he's grateful for the little things, such as the thousands of cards sent to him and his wife by strangers who were praying for his quick recovery. Diebold says it's all about the attitude.

"The mindset is what you learn. It's not that you can't do it, it's that you do it differently. And so far, there hasn't been a way I haven't been able to figure out how to do it," said Diebold.

To donate to a GoFundMe account created for Diebold and his family, CLICK HERE.