SoCal vet spreads joy after video shows her drinking beer from prosthetic leg at Lakers game

"Life still happens after tragedy and you can still make the best of your life," said Annika Hutsler, whose video went viral.

Jessica De Nova Image
Saturday, December 3, 2022
SoCal vet spreads joy, chugs beer from prosthetic leg at Lakers game
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Since Annika Hutsler's video showing her chug beer out of her prosthetic leg went viral, she wants people to know despite adversity, life can still be fun!

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A video of a Marine Corps veteran drinking beer out of her prosthetic leg at last Monday's Los Angeles Lakers game has gone viral.

Annika Hutsler said she was just having a good time.

"I never thought that it was going to make this impact because I'm just trying to be happy and live my best life, and it's nice to see that other people can see that joy because life's hard and you've got to find the fun out of it," she said.

Annika knows all about life's challenges.

Just after enlisting in the military in 2017, she felt a pain in her foot.

"Being a Marine and being in boot camp, everyone kind of has the same mindset of 'pain is weakness leaving the body' so I kept that mindset," Hutsler said.

It was finally too much to take.

Doctors thought it was a stress fracture but it turned out to be a tumor. Fortunately, it wasn't cancerous, but was growing fast.

After a year and a half of testing and procedures across the country, Annika decided it wasn't worth the pain.

"I was 22 at the time and I said, 'Then cut if off now because I'm not wasting the next five to 10 years trying to save a foot if we know we're going to amputate," she said.

She decided to take to social media to share her journey, inspired by other amputees.

"It just kind of motivated me to do everything that I possibly could," Annika said.

Sports have helped her heal physically and mentally.

She admits she has her hard days, but has learned to live in the moment saying "yes" to opportunities.

She now has a modeling and acting career in L.A.

Annika said "yes" last minute to her friend's invite to the game and now, she's inspiring others.

"Life still happens after tragedy and you can still make the best of your life even though it's not the life you initially thought it was going to be," Annika said.

Annika said since ESPN shared the video, she has a lot more followers on social media and said she's all about it as long as it helps spread positivity.