Young Will Lautzenheiser had moved from Boston to Montana to teach, and his future looked bright. But when he began to feel pain in his arms and legs, an examination revealed that he was being attacked by flesh-eating microbes, and his lower arms and legs were amputated to save his life. “Stumped” is the moving story of his life after that, as Will learns to live without hands and feet and then, after a couple of years of exhausting physical therapy, agrees to receive experimental transplants of arms and hands. Director Robin Berghaus skillfully moves between the personal and the medical — it helps that Lautzenheiser’s boyfriend agrees to serve as one of his caretakers — to tell a complicated story well. “Stumped” provides a great deal of fascinating information about the new science of transplants but keeps a steady focus on Lautzenheiser, who at one point defies the limitations of his supposed disability by performing stand-up — well, sit-down — comedy at a Boston club.
Doctors said Sophie would likely never walk, talk, or perform again — but they were wrong.