A familiar presence around Creston Community School District is just a bit different this year. The face is still smiling. The attitude is still positive, but transportation director Bob Beatty moves a little slower and without the ease he enjoyed in years past.
After a grain bin accident in March that took both of his legs, Beatty is back at work, going strong and spreading positivity. Beatty said he’s “never been better.”
The students have welcomed him back with their innocent curiosity. Some want to see the prosthetic that has replaced Beatty’s left leg.
“A lot of kids are happy to see me back,” he said. “I’ve gotten lots of hugs. Some people like me to show them my other leg. One day I’m planning on wearing shorts so they can see it better.”
The first weeks of school were tiring and he got a little sore, but it’s getting better, he said.
“It’s been a good experience,” he said.
CCSD superintendent Deron Stender said he is not surprised Beatty is back to work so quickly.
“The thing about Bob is he has chosen to live rather than just survive,” Stender said. “Bob’s doing a great job taking care of transportation. (It’s) the care that he has for kids and everyone he works with.”
Beatty has been riding a bicycle with his one leg. He has to strap his foot to the pedal and said he has had problems with the prosthetic wanting to “slop” or pull out slightly, but he’s riding. Soon he hopes to have the second leg as well, which will make the process easier.
“I’m still healing, still waiting for a prosthetic for my right leg,” he said. “I hope that’s not going to be too much longer. That seems to be going really slow for me.”
Beatty said his “selfish” attitude is what keeps him going.
“I have too many things that I want to do so the faster I get back, I’m going to be back to doing what I want to get done,” he said. “That’s what I like to tell people, I’m selfish. I’m thinking about myself ... I’m not done living. This was a setback but it’s not going to stop me.”