How Did Albert Lin Lose His Leg and Become an Amputee?

Lin lost his right leg following an accident that occurred in September 2016 during an off-roading trip. The accident left his right leg bone shattered beyond repair, and so it had to be amputated. Since then, the famous explorer has been an amputee, using a prosthetic leg to get by.

Albert Lin is a man of many parts. More than being known as a National Geographical Explorer, he is a philosopher, surfer, scientist, engineer, and artist. Over recent years, he has also come to be known as someone who has not allowed his life to be restricted by the fact that he lost one of his legs. 

Losing a leg would be a life-changing experience for anyone. This is even truer for someone like Albert whose career revolves around precarious exploration. For many, the accident would have been the end of their pursuits in the field but Lin has remarkably carried on with usual activities using a prosthetic leg as if nothing happened. While his story makes an inspiring tale, it has been a tough journey that had him battle excruciating limb pain at some point. In all, the experience has given him a fresh perspective on life and he is now devoted to campaigning for the welfare of amputees across the globe, helping them get comfortable and custom-fitted artificial arms and legs.

The Accident That Claimed Albert Lin’s Right Leg Happened in a September 2016 Excursion Near Poway, California

Albert Lin’s life revolves around exploring the world and it has seen him embark on numerous excursions for leisure and physical purposes, but mostly for the sake of learning and educating the public about historical figures and events. One of his notable exploratory projects revolved around Genghis Khan, the founder and first emperor of the Mongol Empire.

With a grant he received from National Geographic for the project, Lin set out to investigate Khan’s history with the ultimate goal of finding his tomb. While he didn’t succeed in uncovering the tomb, the project received massive publicity, and the National Geographic magazine named Albert Lin as its Readers Choice Adventurer of the Year 2009. Thereafter, the explorer went about traveling and investigating various ancient figures, cities, tombs, and what have you, which were all documented for various specials and series of National Geographic. Thus, Lin became popular and vastly admired in the Nat Geo community.

As such, it was a piece of devastating news for many when it was reported that the popular explorer had lost his leg in an accident. The unfortunate event which influenced the course of his life happened in September 2016 near Poway, California. From what we gathered, Albert and a friend went for afternoon off-roading on that fateful day. His friend was driving the 4×4 vehicle which started tipping over at some point. Lin instinctively put out his right leg to stop the vehicle from tipping and it cost him the limb. It is said that the roll cage of the vehicle dropped on the leg and shattered it.

A Growing Infection Made Him Embrace Amputation and Go Bionic – Here’s How He Coped With The Pains That Followed

Albert Lin spent three weeks in the hospital trying to fix his leg. But then, infections had spread so much on the damaged leg that he had to make a difficult decision – to cut it off and go bionic. Apart from the growing infection, the engineer related that the decision to embrace amputation was more of a decision to move on with his life instead of holding on to what was already gone.

According to him, it was a difficult call that left him weeping after he woke from the surgical operation and saw his new body. He likened the pain he felt to the death of something he loves dearly but also had a strange joy about moving on with his life. The months that followed were very challenging and difficult for him as he was completely dependent on people around him for everything.

Adding that the pain from the wound was overwhelming, Lin noted that it was nothing compared to the pain that came with the realities of living without one of his legs. To deal with the pains, he began looking for solutions that focused on rebranding his mind. He would later profess that allowing his mind to create a new reality was the ultimate factor that helped him conquer both the physical and emotional pains he suffered.

Albert Lin Continues to Explore The World But Is Now Also Devoted to Empowering Amputees Worldwide

The accident that claimed Albert Lin’s right leg has only made him someone with a broader and meaningful life purpose. Even though it subjected him to a journey of excruciating pain, it has made him a better human and the only thing he really lost to the accident was his leg. After he successfully dealt with the pain that followed the decision to amputate his leg, he returned to his career as an explorer and has not limited himself in any way. He has been seen exploring vicious jungles, hiking, skiing, and involved in a range of other outdoor activities. In fact, one might fail to notice he now has a prosthetic right leg.

Beyond that, he is now devoted to promoting the welfare of amputees across the globe. As a scientist and engineer with a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering, Albert Lee had access to experts, modern medical care, and the technology that helped him get a comfortable artificial limb to replace his right leg. Recognizing that a large number of the amputees in the world couldn’t continue living their lives the way they used to before they lost their limbs as they are not privileged to access good prosthetics, the explorer set out to do something about it.

The explorer founded the Center for Human Frontiers (CHF), a research initiative that’s currently focused on reducing cost and improving access to prosthetic limbs for the millions of amputees scattered all over the globe. As culled from CHF’s site, it has a broader goal that revolves around blending the mind, body, and technology.


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