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Another Tucson connection in former Tucson Roadrunner's recovery

Posted at 10:40 PM, Apr 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-17 11:26:06-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Tucson hockey fans will not soon forget November 19, 2016. That is the day Craig Cunningham nearly died on the ice at Tucson Arena.

The Roadrunners Captain suffered a severe heart attack. It nearly claimed his life.

It did eventually take the lower half of his left leg.

"He has not the easiest below the knee amputation to fit," said Peter Harsch of Peter Harsch Prosthetics in San Diego. "So he was running into a lot of prosthetics problems.

Harsch is orginally from Tucson. He makes Cunningham's prosthetics. He said it was challenging to find a balance of function and comfort for Cunningham's leg.

"He's had a lot of atrophying of muscle in the soft tissue and the bone has become very sharp."

Harsch started with a comfortable prosthetic for walking and then running.

Next he tried something he and his team had never done before, building a prosthetic for skating.

"It's kind of our first shot at it really," recalled Harsch. "We took a Bauer skate and we did some customization."

A video from Cunningham's Instagram, shows the former AHL and NHL player skating like a pro.

Cunningham may have coaching opportunities soon, and that will require him to skate during practices. Now he is equipped to do just that.