Severely burned 'man who never quits' finally goes home


by Mike Watkiss

Bio | Email | Follow: @mikewatkiss3TV

Posted on February 5, 2013 at 7:17 AM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 5 at 7:20 AM

PHOENIX -- He has been called "the man who never quits" and once again 56-year-old Boyd Smith has lived up that title.

"We call him the Energizer Bunny or John Wayne," said Boyd's wife, D.D."I've never met a man like him."

"When I'm having a hard time, I go into his room and he lifts my spirits," nurse Paulette Kassapis said with a smile. "He's that type of man. ... It is like taking care of Superman."

Smith was born without arms and with only one leg but grew up to be a champion team-roping cowboy and a professional landscaper.

Nine months ago, when a late-night fire erupted in the Black Canyon City home that Smith shared with wife, a step-daughter and three young grandchildren, it was Smith who got everyone out safely and then went back in to make sure nobody was missed.

The floor collapsed beneath Smith and he was burned over 90 percent of his body.

"In the house, they found a trophy that he had won in a rodeo. The whole thing was burned except for the plaque on it that said, 'To the man who never quits,'" Christy Robert, Smith's step-daughter, recalled.

When we first did a story on Smith shortly after the fire, his chance of survival didn't look good.

Flash forward nine months, Smith is finally back with D.D. and their family. He was released from Arizona Burn Center three months ago. He's been continuing his recovery at an extended-stay rehab center.

"I just want to get back into life," Smith said. "Be the grandfather. Be the husband. Be the step-father to my kids. And just get back to work, get back into life. Everything I can to just get back into the game."

Smith is now considering working with other burn victims and amputees.

Smith's step-daughter has set up a Fundly website to raise money to help cover the costs of the expensive prosthetic limbs Smith lost in the fire. For more information or to make a contribution, visit