Finding his own way

Scotty Fura and his family are determined to move forward after a tragic accident to the Camillus boy.

Jennifer Fura remembers it being quiet — as if life was on autopilot — for a long time.

“Whatever they needed they got; try to sleep when you could. I don’t remember a lot of it,” she said. “I kind of felt like a zombie for awhile.”

One day all of that changed, when her son, Scotty, walked into the kitchen, smiled at her, and said, “Hi, mom.”

“He doesn’t see himself as different, at all.”
- Jennifer Fura

“And that’s when it hit me: I’m like, if this kid is smiling, every day, after what he’s been through: why aren’t I?” she said.

When Scotty Fura was 2 1/2 years old, he lost his right arm in a tragic accident. Now, the 11-year-old baseball player, wrestler and football player seems like nearly any child in his Camillus neighborhood.

“He doesn’t see himself as different, at all,” said his mother.

Four years ago, Jennifer wrote a book about Scotty called Scotty’s Way. It tells the story of a young boy with one arm, and how he has learned to do things his own way.

“We just want to somehow, someway, be somebody’s inspiration,” Jennifer said. “We had nothing.”

When Scotty isn’t at CrossFit training with his 8-year-old sister, Carly, or hanging around the house with his dogs Brandy, a black lab, and Brantley, a three-legged chow mix — he is a motivational speaker. Scotty professes ideas like “never give up” and “follow your dreams” and “nothing can stop you; keep trying, persevere” to peers just a few years younger than him at schools in the West Genesee School District, or to college students at Le Moyne in Syracuse.

“Sometimes I try to stand out, and show people that since I have one arm, I can actually do anything,” Scotty said.

Scotty stills finds challenges in some of life's simplest tasks, like tying his shoes or zipping zippers; that's when his father, Scott, steps in. He has modified many of the things Scotty uses every day, like reversing the brake on Scotty's motorbike or go-kart, or swapping regular laces for elastic, self-tightening laces on his sneakers.

Scott said that his son exudes a lot of confidence, and that as he has gotten older, Scotty has begun to teach him and his wife about life.

“Still, to this day, I wouldn't change it, but I also wouldn't want somebody else to have to go through the trials and tribulations of having to make that adjustment, and living the traumatic events,” Scott said.

Jennifer thinks that their family is in a much better place now than they were years ago. She said her family focuses on the good things in life, and doesn’t dwell on the past.

“I think we’re much closer,” she said. “When you can come through something like that, I think that’s your only option is to be closer.”

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