Friends raising money for veteran’s prosthetic limb after violent home invasion

(WISH Photo)
(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A local army veteran is out of the hospital one month after being shot in the leg while protecting his family from a home invasion.

Doctors released Miles VanJelgerhuis Thursday. His leg was amputated.

“I just wanted to get home really,” VanJelgerhuis said. “Just wanted to be back with my family.”

He sat next to his wife, a new security system and a bundle of balloons welcoming him home.

He’s on the the road to recovery both physically and mentally.

“I play it over and over in my head. I can’t ever really get it out of my head. I can’t even go in my kitchen.”

A bullet hole in the kitchen floor brings back memories of August 14.

In the early morning, VanJelgerhuis heard someone walking up his stairs.

He brought out his shotgun and told the intruder to leave, but VanJelgerhuis said the suspect started fighting for the gun.

VanJelgerhuis said he heard the gun go off, he saw his leg wound and he saw the suspect take off.

“This guy’s out doing whatever he wants. He’s got complete freedom. He gets to go out, hang out, do whatever he wants and walk around on two legs,” he said.

Family and friends are holding a fundraiser next month to raise enough money to buy a prosthetic limb. Not even that will take the pain away from the VanJelgerhuis, his kids or his wife, Shantell.

“The hardest thing about all this is watching my kids emotionally like every day. I have to show them the door is locked,” Shantell said. “I have to walk them to and from the bathroom. I have to walk them to and from the bedroom so they can sleep”

VanJelgerhuis said he’s positive he’ll one day be able to play soccer with his kids again.

He said he did what he had to do to keep a violent intruder away from his family.

“I’d still do it all over again and he could blow this leg off and I wouldn’t regret it a bit because my family is the most important thing to me.”

The fundraiser will be held Friday, Oct. 7 at That Place Bar and Grill. The event will feature live music and raffles.

VanJelgerhuis said the suspect is about 6’3″. He was wearing all dark clothing when he committed the crime.

Community members are also raising money for the victim through a GoFundMe page.

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