80-Year-Old Ohio Man Who Lost Leg Learns to Walk for Months To Dance with Wife Again

An 80-year-old man had a lifelong passion for dancing. However, circumstances prevented him from doing what he enjoyed with the woman he adored. His desire to dance again encouraged him to train and do something incredible, all for the sake of love.

Angel Alpaca’s life changed for the better when he married Raquel. The native of Peru was inspired by his wife and took every opportunity to make new memories with her.

Throughout their 43 years of marriage, they faced various ups and downs. One of the most painful experiences happened in 2018, and it required immense courage from Angel if he wanted to overcome it.

Angel’s leg was injured at work, and the wound became infected. The injury and Angel’s diabetes complications forced doctors to amputate his leg to save his life.

Someone from the Hispanic Senior Center of Lakewood, where Angel volunteered, told him about an institution—it was the place that would change everything for him.
It was challenging for the older man, who struggled to live in a wheelchair. The limited mobility was especially tough on him because he was passionate about dancing. He loved moving around and had been active since he was a young child.

The Older Man Was Heartbroken
When Angel realized he might never be able to dance with his beloved wife again, he was heartbroken. They had been dancing for over four decades, and he said:

“It’s my spirit, my way of being.”

The husband was determined to walk again, but it wouldn’t be an easy journey. Angel’s prosthetic leg was ill-fitting, and he struggled to use it. Still, nothing was going to stop him from getting out on the dancefloor with his wife again.

His Journey to Dancing Again
Raquel loved dancing, and she was the motivation for Angel’s road to recovery. Someone from the Hispanic Senior Center of Lakewood, where Angel volunteered, told him about an institution—it was the place that would change everything for him.

Angel arrived at Cleveland Clinic, ready to start his rehabilitation therapy. The devoted husband spent five long months learning to walk again. His physical therapy assistant, Mary Yee, was in awe of his perseverance. She shared:

“If we asked him to do an exercise 20 times, he would do 25. Angel always inspired us to help him get to the next level. It was his love for his wife and his desire to dance with her again that carried him to the finish line.”

Their Love Language
Angel shared why dancing was so important to him and his wife, expressing: “It is a way to show our love, to connect to each other.” In 2019, he took his first steps while holding his wife’s hands and swaying to one of their favorite songs.

They had an emotional audience watching them as they enjoyed the music and moved to the beat together. Angel spun his smiling wife and looked chuffed with himself.

His love for Raquel inspired him to tackle the mammoth task, and the proud husband was delighted that their dancing days were not over yet. He was immensely grateful for the “angels” at the rehabilitation center who helped him reach his goal. Angel added:

“No matter the adversity, you always have to try hard. To win… I thank God for giving me the opportunity to marry my wife.”

Angel and Raquel have had a fairytale romance; even after 40 years of marriage, they still keep their spark alive. We wish them many more happy years of dancing together!


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