Losing a Limb and Finding Your Life!


SAN ANTONIO, Texas. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — From war, to diabetes, to accidents … limb loss is more common than you might think. According to the Amputee Coalition, 185,000 amputations occur each year in the United States. More than three and a half million people will be living with limb loss by the year 2050.  Learning to live without an arm or a leg can be challenging and even soul-crushing, but it doesn’t have to be. Losing a limb

One woman who has been changing the lives of amputees for more than two decades and challenging them to new heights, “I had just turned 17,” detailed Mona Patel, founder of the San Antonio Amputee Foundation.

Patel remembers that day vividly on the campus of California Poly Tech. That was the day a drunk driver changed the trajectory of her life forever.

Patel told Ivanhoe, “I flew up 12 feet across six feet. His car kept going and I landed back on his car. And the second impact, he pinned me between his car and a metal railing. That’s pretty much what smashed the, the lower leg and foot.”

Fast forward seven years and 21 surgeries later, Patel opted to have her leg amputated below the knee.

“I was at a crossroads, and I looked for a support group, and couldn’t find one,” shared Patel.

Patel vowed that she would be the one to help others facing life after losing a limb, and for more than 25 years, she has kept her promise.

Stephanie Richardson shared, “After four failed knee replacements, I sought out a surgeon to remove it. No matter what it changes your life.”

After meeting Patel, Richardson knew she made the right decision.

Richardson continued, “Mona turned to me, and she said, ‘I never met any anybody yet who opted to cut it off and regretted it later.’ So, you know, and it just changed everything for me.”

And that’s what Patel does. With her non-profit, The San Antonio Amputee Foundation, as a licensed clinical social worker, she meets one-on-one before an amputation and after to show patients what their future can be.

“Just yesterday, I think I told three new amputees that you have to remember that your spirit, your love, your heart did not live in that foot or that leg that was amputated it’s in here,” said Patel.

She also sees the power of peer support groups and makes it okay to ask for help. Another key component when overcoming adversity, setting goals.

“We always have to be striving for something bigger and better,” shared Patel.

A major goal for Patel and several other amputees climbing 19,340 feet to the top of Kilimanjaro.

“You can tackle and climb any summit in your life,” said Patel.

Richardson told Ivanhoe, “Her first question to me was what mountain do you want to climb?”

A question we may all need to ask ourselves.

Not only does The San Antonio Amputee Foundation work one–on-one to give amputees guidance and help them navigate the medical system, and advocate for them, but they also match amputees with other amputees for support and challenge them with adaptive sporting programs like skiing, riding horses and cycling. Patel’s next goal is to hike the highest peak in every state. So far, she’s reached the top of 14 mountains.

Contributors to this news report include: Marsha Lewis, Producer; Roque Correa Editor and Videographer.



To receive a free weekly email on Smart Living from Ivanhoe, sign up at:  http://www.ivanhoe.com/ftk