PHOENIX -- When he was rushed to Maricopa County Medical Center five months ago with serious burns over 90 percent of his body, Boyd Smith was not expected to survive.

Smith, however, beat the odds and this week he is slated to leave the facility's Arizona Burn Center and head for an extended-stay in rehab as he continues his miraculous recovery.

The truth is the old cowboy has been beating the odds his entire life. Born 57 years ago without arms and with only one leg, Smith has never let his disability slow him down.

As a young man, with the help of prosthetic limbs, Smith was a champion team-roping cowboy. For the last 35 years, he has been a successful and well-respected landscaper here in the Valley.

And what makes Smith's story even more remarkable is the fact that he sustained his nearly fatal burns while saving his family from a devastating early morning fire that raced their Black Canyon City home in late May.

"You just can't sit there and watch your family burn up," Smith said during a news conference at the Arizona Burn Center Wednesday afternoon.

Flanked by his wife, D.D., and some of the doctors and nurses who have been treating him, Smith thanked the medical team for saving his life. The tough cowboy then got choked -up when he talked about the love and support of his family.

"I owe everything to the Lord because if it wasn't for the Lord, I wouldn't be here," he said.

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


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