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Inspiring Stories Of Amputees Who Successfully Got Their Lives Back On Track

Losing a limb is undeniably a difficult situation to face; patients usually feel a profound sense of loss, decreased self-esteem and some may even develop depression. It will take time for amputees to finally accept that the limb that they have lost will never return and get on with their lives the best way that they can. A positive mindset coupled with physical rehabilitation will speed up the recovery process. It is also important that family and friends offer support to patients who may feel overwhelmed with the change.

Here are some inspirational stories of amputees who have successfully gotten their lives back on track. Amputee patients can take inspiration from these stories of fellow amputees who have gone through the same experience of having a limb removed due to illness or trauma, and know that they are not alone in their journey to recovery.

Quadruple Amputee War Veteran

War veteran Staff Sergeant Travis Mills lost all four of his limbs while serving in the Army, having been injured by an explosive device while fighting in Afghanistan. Despite his horrific injuries, Mills was walking 7 weeks after having both arms and legs amputated. Prosthetics now take the weight of his 250-pound build and his motivational story has been made into a documentary “Travis: a Soldier’s Story”. Mills has also started the “Travis Mills Foundation” that helps military men deal with post-injury recovery, both physically and emotionally. Not only has Travis Mills inspired many others with his own miraculous recovery; he is now also assisting other wounded war veterans and sharing his story with the rest of the world.

15-year-old Cancer and Amputee Survivor Ballerina

Ballerina Gabi Shull had most of her leg amputated when she was 9 after a knee injury led doctors to discover cancer. In order to allow her to continue her active lifestyle and her love for ballet, doctors performed a rare procedure known as Rotationplasty where the knee joint is removed with the lower leg and foot rotated 180 degrees after which it is rejoined to the thigh. This allows the entire part to take on the functions of a knee which makes for more flexibility. Gabi is now 15 and attends numerous dance classes in addition to ballet classes. She also actively participates in dance competitions and her mother told Fitness Magazine that the life that she leads now is exactly the life she would have led had she not had her leg amputated.

Survivor of the Boston Marathon Bombings

Rebekah Gregory had her left leg amputated after falling victim to terrorist bombings at the 2013 Boston Marathon. A mere 2 years after that horrifying incident, Rebekah had already completed yet another marathon – the UNESCO Cities Marathon held in Italy. In 2016, she also gave birth to her second child who is also her first since having her leg amputated, against all odds as she had been told by doctors that it would be difficult for her to have another child after her injury. Rebekah is definitely an example of an amputee survivor who has gotten her life back on track.

For amputees, the loss of a limb may put them through emotions similar to those felt when one is grieving. There are 5 stages of grieving and they are:

  1. Denial – the patient will be unable to accept what has happened to him/her
  2. Anger – “why me?” is the most commonly asked question by patients at this stage of grief. They may also act out in frustration.
  3. Bargaining – the patient will seek solutions to counteract what has happened and may negotiate with doctors to help ease their problem
  4. Depression – hopelessness sets in and the patient will feel like there is nothing that can be helped and lose faith in a bright future
  5. Acceptance – positivity starts to shine through and the patient will finally accept that because there is no way of reversing what has happened, it would be best to make the best of it

It will take time and effort to get to the last stage of acceptance. But once a patient shows signs of positivity, it is important to direct them on the right path to recovery and to reclaim normalcy in their lives. Life goes on even after an amputation; in fact, it can be lived even better than before. Read more on Reasons for Amputation and the procedure.

Losing a limb is undeniably a difficult situation to face; patients usually feel a profound sense of loss, decreased self-esteem and some may even develop depression. It will take time for amputees to finally accept that the limb that they have lost will never return and get on with their lives the best way that they can. A positive mindset coupled with physical rehabilitation will speed up the recovery process. It is also important that family and friends offer support to patients who may feel overwhelmed with the change.

Here are some inspirational stories of amputees who have successfully gotten their lives back on track. Amputee patients can take inspiration from these stories of fellow amputees who have gone through the same experience of having a limb removed due to illness or trauma, and know that they are not alone in their journey to recovery.

Quadruple Amputee War Veteran

War veteran Staff Sergeant Travis Mills lost all four of his limbs while serving in the Army, having been injured by an explosive device while fighting in Afghanistan. Despite his horrific injuries, Mills was walking 7 weeks after having both arms and legs amputated. Prosthetics now take the weight of his 250-pound build and his motivational story has been made into a documentary “Travis: a Soldier’s Story”. Mills has also started the “Travis Mills Foundation” that helps military men deal with post-injury recovery, both physically and emotionally. Not only has Travis Mills inspired many others with his own miraculous recovery; he is now also assisting other wounded war veterans and sharing his story with the rest of the world.

15-year-old Cancer and Amputee Survivor Ballerina

Ballerina Gabi Shull had most of her leg amputated when she was 9 after a knee injury led doctors to discover cancer. In order to allow her to continue her active lifestyle and her love for ballet, doctors performed a rare procedure known as Rotationplasty where the knee joint is removed with the lower leg and foot rotated 180 degrees after which it is rejoined to the thigh. This allows the entire part to take on the functions of a knee which makes for more flexibility. Gabi is now 15 and attends numerous dance classes in addition to ballet classes. She also actively participates in dance competitions and her mother told Fitness Magazine that the life that she leads now is exactly the life she would have led had she not had her leg amputated.

Survivor of the Boston Marathon Bombings

Rebekah Gregory had her left leg amputated after falling victim to terrorist bombings at the 2013 Boston Marathon. A mere 2 years after that horrifying incident, Rebekah had already completed yet another marathon – the UNESCO Cities Marathon held in Italy. In 2016, she also gave birth to her second child who is also her first since having her leg amputated, against all odds as she had been told by doctors that it would be difficult for her to have another child after her injury. Rebekah is definitely an example of an amputee survivor who has gotten her life back on track.

For amputees, the loss of a limb may put them through emotions similar to those felt when one is grieving. There are 5 stages of grieving and they are:

  1. Denial – the patient will be unable to accept what has happened to him/her
  2. Anger – “why me?” is the most commonly asked question by patients at this stage of grief. They may also act out in frustration.
  3. Bargaining – the patient will seek solutions to counteract what has happened and may negotiate with doctors to help ease their problem
  4. Depression – hopelessness sets in and the patient will feel like there is nothing that can be helped and lose faith in a bright future
  5. Acceptance – positivity starts to shine through and the patient will finally accept that because there is no way of reversing what has happened, it would be best to make the best of it

It will take time and effort to get to the last stage of acceptance. But once a patient shows signs of positivity, it is important to direct them on the right path to recovery and to reclaim normalcy in their lives. Life goes on even after an amputation; in fact, it can be lived even better than before. Read more on Reasons for Amputation and the procedure.

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