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A double amputee who lost one of his prosthetic legs during a skydive over Vermont this weekend has been reunited with his carbon fiber limb following a heart-warming chain of events involving the kindness of hundreds of strangers and an eagle-eyed farmer.

Chris Marckres, 47, went for a jump Saturday at Vermont Skydiving Adventures in West Addison, as part of a bucket list wish spurred by a recent diagnosis of end-stage kidney disease.

The bi-lateral amputee, who lost both of his legs more than a decade ago due to diabetic complications, told DailyMail.com that he was so consumed by the thrill of his free-fall that he didn’t realize his right leg prosthetic had detached mid-jump until seconds before landing.

‘I think it was about 20 seconds before we landed that I realized it had gone. The excitement and adrenaline completely took over,’ Chris said. ‘The instructor told me to get my legs in position for landing, but as I reached down to pull them up, I noticed my right one wasn’t there.’

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Chris Marckres, 47, went for a jump Saturday at Vermont Skydiving Adventures in West Addison, as part of a bucket list wish spurred by a recent diagnosis of end-stage kidney disease

Chris Marckres, 47, went for a jump Saturday at Vermont Skydiving Adventures in West Addison, as part of a bucket list wish spurred by a recent diagnosis of end-stage kidney disease

Joe (right) and Chris (left) finally met face-to-face on Monday where the 47-year-old was reunited with his prosthetic leg

Joe (right) and Chris (left) finally met face-to-face on Monday where the 47-year-old was reunited with his prosthetic leg

Chris published a post to Facebook detailing how he’d lost his prosthetic and asked anyone in the area surrounding the skydiving school to keep an eye out for in their fields and on their land

Chris published a post to Facebook detailing how he’d lost his prosthetic and asked anyone in the area surrounding the skydiving school to keep an eye out for in their fields and on their land

Chris said he was glad he noticed the leg was missing in the final stages of the sky dive so he was able to enjoy it ‘without anxiety’. But back down on the ground, the worry began to seep in.

‘My life changes drastically if I don’t have both of my legs,’ Chris, of Hyde Park, said. ‘I have to go back to using my wheelchair and what I’m capable of doing becomes so limited.

‘I don’t like watching life pass me by,’ he continued. ‘I like to be active and to be out seizing the moment.’

To make matters worse, Chris said he only got the prosthetics two months ago.

The 47-year-old said he knew his insurance company wouldn’t cover the cost of missing leg, leaving him with the choice of either paying $20,000 out of his own pocket to replace it or spend the foreseeable future bound to his wheelchair.

Determined to change his luck, Chris published a post to Facebook detailing how he’d lost his prosthetic and asked anyone in the area surrounding the skydiving school to keep an eye out for in their fields and on their land.

When he awoke the next morning his post had been shared more than 1500 times. Chris said he was inundated with messages from strangers asking him how they could help him.

He told the dozens of Samaritans he would be conducting a search surrounding fields with his drone on Sunday, welcoming them along to help if they wished.

‘The response was incredible, it really restored my faith in humanity,’ Chris told DailyMail.com. ‘I was struggling to hold back tears it was overwhelming. More than 100 people must’ve shown up.’

Chris Marckres, 47, went for a jump Saturday at Vermont Skydiving Adventures in West Addison, as part of a bucket list wish spurred by a recent diagnosis of end-stage kidney disease

Chris pictured on Xmas, 2019

Chris said he was glad he noticed the leg was missing in the final stages of the sky dive so he was able to enjoy it ‘without anxiety’. But back down on the ground, the worry began to seep in 

The bi-lateral amputee, who lost both of his legs more than a decade ago due to diabetic complications, told DailyMail.com that he was so consumed by the thrill of his free fall that he didn’t realize his right leg prosthetic had detached mid-jump until seconds before landing

The bi-lateral amputee, who lost both of his legs more than a decade ago due to diabetic complications, told DailyMail.com that he was so consumed by the thrill of his free fall that he didn’t realize his right leg prosthetic had detached mid-jump until seconds before landing

‘I think it was about 20 seconds before we landed that I realized it had gone. The excitement and adrenaline completely took over,’ Chris said. ‘The instructor told me to get my legs in position for landing, but as I reached down to pull them up, I noticed my right one wasn’t there.’

Chris right leg detached mid free-fall

‘I think it was about 20 seconds before we landed that I realized it had gone. The excitement and adrenaline completely took over,’ Chris said. ‘The instructor told me to get my legs in position for landing, but as I reached down to pull them up, I noticed my right one wasn’t there’

When he arrived at the search point, Chris said there were already dozens of people searching the fields on dirt bikes and ATVs.

He said one person training search and rescue dogs also turned up, as did a woman from the Vermont State Police Department, who was helping to organize and coordinate the search.

Though the efforts yielded no sign of Chris’ leg, soybean farmer Joe Marzalkowski was conducting his own search of his land a few miles away in Vergennes, having seen Chris’ Facebook post after it was shared by a mutual friend.

Joe searched the fields surrounding his property for more than two hours. He had been about to call it a day when he spotted a glimmer of metal sparkling in his field as he was walking back towards his home.

Marzalkowski, who has not yet returned a DailyMail.com request for interview, compared the discovery as like ‘finding a needle in a haystack’ to NECN.

‘I was very grateful to have found it without running it over with a machine this fall during harvest,’ Joe said. ‘Or, God forbid, the combine sucked it up — it would’ve destroyed it.’

Despite falling more than 9500 feet to the ground, the leg was in near perfect condition, except for a few minor scratches.

Joe immediately contacted Chris on Facebook to share with him the good news.

The two men, who have since become good friends, plan to skydive together in the fall

The two men, who have since become good friends, plan to skydive together in the fall

Chris was offered Joe money as a reward for his efforts, but the farmer initially refused, unless Chris agreed to skydive with him

Chris was offered Joe money as a reward for his efforts, but the farmer initially refused, unless Chris agreed to skydive with him

‘I was so relieved. So relieved and overwhelmed it was difficult to put into words,’ Chris said.

The pair finally met face-to-face on Monday, where Chris was reunited with his prosthetic.

‘It was an incredible feeling,’ Chris recounted. ‘I can’t thank Joe enough for his kindness. He worked a 10 hour day in the blazing heat and then drove an hour and a half to bring my leg to me.’

Chris was offered Joe money as a reward for his efforts, but the farmer initially refused.

‘I had to fight with him to take it,’ Chris laughed, adding that Joe expressed an interest in skydiving during their conversation. ‘He eventually agreed to take the money to put it towards booking a skydive, so long as I promised to Jump with him.’

Chris said he and Joe are hoping to do the jump some time in fall, to witness some truly stunning views of the Champlain Valley.

‘He’s one of the nicest gentlemen I’ve ever had the opportunity to meet,’ Chris said. ‘It was like being reunited with an old friend. We’re definitely going to have a relationship for many more years to come.’

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