Q. What would you do if your legs were amputated bilaterally below the knee, both your kidneys were removed and you were only 19 years old? You wake up and half your legs and feet are gone. Can you even imagine?
A. During a recent yoga class the teacher told the story of Amy Purdy. When Amy was 19 she contracted bacterial meningitis. The bacteria spread quickly and she became septic, resulting in the loss of her legs (below the knee) and both kidneys. The odds were only 2% that she would survive.
Amy started snowboarding 7 months after receiving her leg prosthetics. (Two years after losing her kidneys her father donated one of his kidneys). One year after her amputations she competed in her first snowboarding competition.
“Our borders and our obstacles can only do two things. Stop us in our tracks or force us to get creative.”
Over the next 18 years Amy would compete in several more snowboarding competitions and continue her pre-amputee profession as a massage therapist. She has been involved in modeling, acting and competition in The Amazing Race and Dancing With the Stars.
What would you do if you had both legs amputated?
Many people face life altering events. On a daily basis we hear their stories. How do some conquer these obstacles and find their way down a different but adventurous fulfilling path and others cannot.
It has been said that optimistic people recover faster from surgery. Their attitude is positive; they follow their post surgery instructions because they are anxious to return to their life.
It has also been said that pessimistic, negative people are not as able to see the light at the end of the tunnel and therefore interference with healing and recovery occurs.
Our thoughts shape our behavior. Amy could have given up; depression could have taken her down a very dark path and a pity party could have gone on forever………..but it didn’t.
“Borders are where the actual ends, but also where the imagination and the story begins.”
Vicki L Mayfield, M.Ed., R.N., LMFT Marriage and Family Therapy Oklahoma City
If you would like to send a question to Vicki, email us at [email protected]